What is an endoscopy?
An upper GI endoscopy, also known as an upper endoscopy or EGD, is a medical procedure in which your doctor, usually a gastroenterologist, examines the lining of your upper digestive system through a tiny camera attached to a long, flexible tube called an endoscope. The endoscope (about as thick as a little finger) is inserted in your throat while you are under anesthesia and travels to the top of the small intestine.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your doctor may recommend an endoscopy procedure to:
- Investigate signs and symptoms. An endoscopy may help your doctor determine what’s causing digestive signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Diagnose. Your doctor may use an endoscopy to collect tissue samples (biopsy) to test for diseases and conditions, such as anemia, bleeding, inflammation, diarrhea or cancers of the digestive system.
- Treat. Your doctor can pass special tools through the endoscope to treat problems in your digestive system, such as widening a narrow esophagus, clipping off a polyp or removing a foreign object.
An endoscopy can help the doctor performing it to identify:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- inflammation or swelling
- precancerous abnormalities such as Barrett’s esophagus
- celiac disease
- narrowing of the esophagus
The medical name for an endoscopy is “esophagogastroduodenoscopy.”
How should I prepare for an endoscopy?
To prepare for an endoscopy, your surgeon may ask you to:
- Drink a solution to clean out your intestines. In the days before your procedure, your surgeon may give you a prescription solution that flushes stool out of your intestines. Most do not do this.
- Eat nothing the night before your surgery. You may drink a sip of water with your medications but avoid eating and drinking at least eight hours before your surgery.
- Stop taking certain medications and supplements. Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you take. Continue taking most medications as prescribed. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications and supplements because they may increase your risk of bleeding.
What happens during an endoscopy?
After you are completely sedated, the endoscope is passed through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, and the doctor will conduct the exam and take a biopsy if needed. Because of the sedation, you will feel no discomfort and your breathing will not be affected in any way.
What should I expect after an endoscopy?
Here are the instructions we give our EGD patients:
- Moderate activity as tolerated.
- Do not drive a car or operate machinery for 24 hours.
- Do not sign legal documents for 24 hours.
- You may experience light headedness, dizziness, and sleepiness following your procedure, so you should have a responsible adult with you for the first 24 hours.
- Progress slowly to a regular diet. Start with liquids, then light foods (soup, Jell-O, etc.) as you can tolerate, gradually progressing to solid foods. Avoid heavy, spicy, fried foods when first starting to eat.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours following your procedure.
- It is common to have a sore throat after your procedure. You may gargle with warm salt water or use throat lozenges.
CALL YOUR SURGEON IF:
- You have chills or temperature greater than 101F.
- You notice bloody stool or black stool.
- Your abdomen feels hard and/or rigid.
- You experience unusual stomach pain or shoulder pain.
- If a specimen or biopsy was obtained, results will be back in 7-10 days. Please call your surgeon’s office for results.
- Please follow up in clinic with your surgeon as directed.
How much does an endoscopy cost?
NTTC Surgery Center offers a flat-rate cash price of $1,260 for an EGD with biopsy. This is helpful for patients who don’t have a health plan or don’t want to use an insurance company. This price includes the facility fee, surgeon fee, and anesthesia.
We can also do both an EGD and colonoscopy for a flat-rate cash price of $2,210.
Get familiar with the specifics of your coverage if you plan to have insurance cover the cost of your colonoscopy. For example, find out your annual deductible and how much you have met so far. The staff at Mesquite’s friendliest surgery center are available to walk you through the process.