An EGD is also referred to as “upper endoscopy” or “gastroscopy”. It involves the insertion of a lighted flexible tube, called an upper endoscope, into the mouth. The tube is guided by direct vision into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum so that the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract is visualized. Any area of the lining that appears abnormal may be biopsied; that is, a piece of tissue may be removed for analysis. Areas that are bleeding may be cauterized to stop active bleeding or to prevent future bleeding.
An EGD is a generally safe procedure but carries several risks that include, but are not limited to, perforation and bleeding. Serious complications of EGD, such as perforation or bleeding, may require hospitalization, blood transfusions, or surgery.