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Upper Endoscopy

What is an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in the upper GI (gastrointestinal) tract. The upper GI tract includes the food pipe (esophagus), stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum).

This procedure is done using a long, flexible tube called an endoscope. The tube has a tiny light and video camera on one end. The tube is put into the mouth and throat. Then it is slowly advanced into the esophagus, stomach, and into your duodenum. Video images from the tube are seen on a monitor.

Small tools may also be inserted into the endoscope. These tools can be used to:

  • Take tissue samples for a biopsy
  • Remove things such as food or accidentally swallowed foreign bodies that may be stuck in the upper GI tract
  • Inject air or fluid
  • Stop bleeding
  • Dilate a narrowed area.

Why might a child need an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy can be used to diagnose and/or treat problems in your upper GI tract, which may include:

  • Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Unexplained weight loss or poor weight gain
  • Upper belly pain or chest pain that is not heart-related
  • Continuous vomiting for an unknown reason (intractable vomiting)
  • Bleeding in the upper GI tract
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Narrowing (strictures) or blockages
  • Larger than normal veins in your esophagus (esophageal varices)
  • Redness and swelling (inflammation) and sores (ulcers)
  • The stomach moving upward, either into or next to your esophagus (hiatal hernia)
  • Damage caused by swallowing very harmful (caustic) substances, such as household detergents and chemicals
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn's disease of the upper GI tract
  • Infections of the upper GI tract
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Gastrostomy Tube placement and removal
  • Foreign Body Removal such as coins, sharps, or magnets

An endoscope can be used to take tissue samples (biopsies) or GI fluid samples. An upper endoscopy may also be done to check your stomach and duodenum after a surgery.

Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend an upper GI endoscopy.

What are the risks of an upper endoscopy?

Some possible complications that may occur with an upper endoscopy are:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • A tear in the lining (perforation) of the duodenum, esophagus, or stomach

Your child may have other risks that are unique. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.

Will my child be awake during the upper endoscopy?

Your child will be seen by our anesthesia team and evaluated. Unless there are unique circumstances, your child will likely have general anesthesia and be asleep during the procedure.