An EGD is also called an upper endoscopy. It is done with a narrow, flexible tube that has a camera and lights that goes in through your mouth into the upper digestive tract. It allows your doctor to look into your esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine called the duodenum. These tests helps your doctor diagnose illnesses and make plans for treatment if needed.

Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center is committed to delivering quality and safety in endoscopy. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), a leading gastrointestinal medical society, has recognized the endoscopy units at the OSU Wexner Medical Center as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. OSUWMC is one of more than 450 endoscopy units to be granted the recognition since 2009. The ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program honors endoscopy units that have demonstrated a commitment to patient safety and quality in endoscopy as evidenced by meeting the program’s rigorous criteria, which includes following the ASGE guidelines on privileging, quality assurance, endoscope reprocessing, CDC infection control guidelines and ensuring endoscopy staff competency. 


Detailed preparation instructions will be provided upon scheduling your upper endoscopy. You will not be able to eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the test. You will also need to follow instructions about stopping aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines before the test.

What to Expect

Plan to arrive at the arrival time on your letter so the staff can get you ready. Expect to be here about 3 hours for your test and recovery time. The test will take about 15 minutes. After you have registered, you will change into a hospital gown. To protect your privacy, and the privacy of other patients, family members and friends are not permitted in the procedure areas. 

A nurse will review your medicine list and medical history. An intravenous (IV) line will be placed to give you medicine during the test. Let the nurse know right away if you have had problems having an IV placed in the past. When the nurse has you ready, you will be taken to a private room, where your test will be done. You will be given a consent form to read over. The doctor will talk to you and go over the consent form. Ask any questions you have about the test before you sign the form. You will be given medicines in your IV to help you relax. You will likely rest on your left side. Your throat may be sprayed with a numbing medicine. The doctor will pass another tube through your mouth and into your esophagus, stomach and duodenum.

After the Test 

You will be taken to a recovery area for 30 to 45 minutes. You will then change back into your clothes. The doctor will speak with you and your family member before you leave. Plan to take the day off of work and rest at home after the test.

The medicine given during the test can cause you to have memory changes and impair your judgment. Do not drive a motorized vehicle or operate heavy machinery. Do not sign any papers or make any legal decisions.

From our experts

What to expect with an upper endoscopy

Sheryl Pfeil, MD, a gastroenterologist at Ohio State, explains an endoscopy as a procedure where the physician places a lighted tube into a patient’s mouth and guides it down the esophagus and into the stomach to look for issues such as ulcer disease or narrowing and irritation of the esophagus.

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