What is Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy?

The term oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (upper endoscopy) refers to a medical procedure during which a flexible tube called gastroscope is used to look inside the esophagus, the stomach and part of the duodenum (upper digestive tract). It is a procedure performed by a gastroenterologist, a well-trained specialist. There is a tiny video camera and a light on the end of the gastroscope. By adjusting the various controls on the gastroscope, the gastroenterologist can carefully guide the instrument in any direction to look at the inside of upper digestive tract. The high-quality picture from the colonoscope is shown on a TV monitor, and gives a clear, detailed view.

Before the Procedure

You need to restrict the diet and drinks at least 6 hours before the procedure. Consult your doctor prior to the procedure to determine if the medications you are on should be taken or not prior to the procedure.

During the Oesophagogastoduodenoscopy

Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy can be done in a hospital, special outpatient surgical center or a physician’s office. You will be asked to sign a form which verifies that you consent to having the procedure and that you understand what is involved. If there is anything you do not understand, ask for more information.

During the procedure, an intravenous line, or IV, will be placed to give you medication to make you relaxed and drowsy. The drug may enable you to remain awake and cooperative while preventing you from remembering much of the experience. Most people will fall asleep.

You will be lie on your left side. Once you are fully relaxed, gastroscope will be gently inserted. The doctor will examine the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. You may feel bloated as the air is introduced into your stomach during the procedure. Generally, however, there is little or no discomfort. The time needed for oesophagogastroduodenoscopy on average is 10 minutes. Afterwards, you will be cared for in a recovery area until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. At this time, your doctor will inform you about the results of your upper endoscopy and provide any additional information you need to know. You will also be given instructions regarding how soon you can eat and drink, plus other guidelines for resuming your normal routine.

Possible Complications

Although oesophagogastroduodenoscopy is a safe procedure, complications can occur, including perforation or puncture of the walls of the upper digestive tract, which could require surgical repair. Some patients may have heart or lung problems after sedative drugs. Be sure to discuss any specific concerns you may have about the procedure with your doctor.

After the Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy

Plan to rest for the remainder of the day after your oesophagogastroduodenoscopy. This means not driving, so you will need to arrange to have a family member or friend take you home.

Contact your doctor immediately if you develop fever after the test or if you notice swallowing difficulty or increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain, or bleeding, including black stools.