Thomas Lyles, MD
As a leading GI doctor in Bedford, Dr. Lyles is an expert in performing upper endoscopic (EGD) examinations. With this examination he can diagnose and treat certain digestive conditions.
What is an upper endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows a gastroenterologist to examine several areas in your upper gastrointestinal system, including your esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine.
How does an upper endoscopy work?
In order to undergo an upper endoscopy, a patient needs to be fasting (no food or liquids for several hours prior to the exam). Anesthesia is then administered via an IV to sedate the patient. After a patient is sedated, the upper endoscope is introduced into the patient’s mouth, passed over the back of the tongue and into their esophagus. Once the upper endoscope is in the esophagus, it can easily be advanced into the stomach and then the small intestine. After the esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine have been examined, the upper endoscope is removed from the patient’s body and the IV anesthesia is turned off. Patients are able to go home about 30 minutes after the procedure is completed.
What kind of anesthesia is used? Will be “completely under”?
While anesthesia is used during an upper endoscopy, patients continue to breathe on their own and they are not “completely under.” We do not have to put patients on a ventilator (breathing machine) for an upper endoscopy. This is called “conscious sedation” and is different from “general anesthesia” which is used during an operation.
What are the indications for an upper endoscopy?
There are multiple indications for undergoing an upper endoscopy, including
- Chronic reflux/heartburn
- Difficulty swallowing
- Evaluating Barrett’s esophagus
- Evaluating an abnormal imaging study, such as a CT scan or a barium swallow
- Abdominal pain (centered just beneath the ribs, under the right side of the ribs or the left side of the ribs)
- Chronic nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- Difficulty finishing a meal (becoming full easily)
- Chronic diarrhea
- Unexplained iron deficiency anemia (low iron levels leading to low red blood counts)
- Chronic vomiting
- Unexplained hiccoughs or belching
- Throwing up blood (hematemesis)
- Passing blood in the stool (melena, hematochezia)
- Stomach ulcers
- Removal of foreign bodies or objects from the esophagus, stomach or small intestine
- Celiac disease
- Placement of feeding tubes in the stomach
- Pre-operative evaluation prior to bariatric surgery
- Evaluation of dyspepsia (functional abdominal pain)
- Treatment of Barrett’s esophagus
- Evaluation of stomach polyps
- Stomach biopsies for Helicobacter pylori
- Evaluating for esophageal varices (dilated veins that line the esophagus in patients with chronic liver disease)
What are the risks of an upper endoscopy?
Very rarely, patients can experience a complication from an upper endoscopy, such as bleeding from a biopsy site, infection, reaction to anesthesia, or a perforation (creating a small tear in the lining of the intestines).
Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition