EGD procedure: uses, process, cost and duration

What is EGD procedure?

EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy, is an outpatient diagnostic and treatment monitoring procedure that doctors use to examine the esophagus, stomach and duodenum of patients.

From the name, esophago-gastro-duodeno-scopy, and its derivation, you can easily tell what part of the body the test is used to examine.

Let us separate the name for easier understanding.

The first part is esophago. This stands for the esophagus or the gullet.

The second word used in the name formation is gastro which represents the stomach.

The third word is duodeno. This is derived from duodenum which is the upper or first part of the small intestine, immediately after the stomach.

The last word is scopy. This can be said to mean examination, typically with an instrument having a name ending in -scope. In this case, the instrument is endoscope.

In EGD procedure, doctors use a medical equipment called endoscope to check the body parts mentioned above (that’s the esophagus, stomach and duodenum).

Uses of EGD test

EGD procedure has three broad uses.

These are:

  1. It is used to help in the diagnosis of some disease conditions
  2. It is used to monitor treatment progress of some disease conditions
  3. It is used to check for complications in some disease conditions

1. EGD test is used to help diagnose some disease conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

Doctors usually recommend this test if you present with either one or a combination of these symptoms:

  1. Chronic heartburn that is severe
  2. Hematemesis (vomiting of blood)
  3. Black stools
  4. Regurgitation
  5. Upper abdominal pain
  6. Anemia
  7. Persistent nausea and vomiting
  8. Unexplained weight loss
  9. Bloating or feeling of fullness after taking s little quantity of food (than normal)
  10. Dysphagia (Pain during swallowing or difficulty in doing so)
  11. A feeling that food is lodged behind the breastbone

2. EGD test is used to monitor treatment progress in some disease conditions

Treatment progress of patients with the following conditions are being monitored using EGD test:

  1. Peptic ulcer disease
  2. Cirrhosis
  3. Crohn’s disease
  4. Swollen vein in the lower esophagus

3. It is also used to check for complications in patients with:

  1. Peptic ulcer disease
  2. Cirrhosis
  3. Crohn’s disease
  4. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  5. Other upper gastrointestinal tract disease conditions.

Cost of EGD procedure

The cost of running an EGD procedure varies across countries, States and health facilities.

In most places, the price ranges between $1,500-$10,000 without Health Insurance. Patients with health insurance plans may pay between 10 to 50% of this amount.

Please visit health facilities near you to know the actual cost of the procedure in your area.

Disease conditions an EGD procedure is used to diagnose

The following are the disease conditions an EGD test is used to diagnose:

  1. Peptic ulcer disease
  2. GERD –  gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux
  3. Stomach cancer
  4. Oesophageal cancer
  5. Barrett’s esophagus

Things to observe during EGD test

During an EGD procedure, look out for the following:

  1. Tissue damage
  2. Organs lining cellular changes
  3. Ulcers
  4. Abnormal growth on the walls of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum
  5. Perforations and ulcer craters
  6. Bleeding (a sequel to perforations and ulcer craters)
  7. Inflammation
  8. Passageways blockages or narrowing
  9. Swollen veins

EGD test duration

This is a relatively simple outpatient test.
It takes between 20 to 20 minutes to complete.

Result comes out within an hour of the procedure.

Exception exist when some tissue is taken for a biopsy. In this case, your result might be delayed so that you get it alongside that of biopsy.

How to prepare yourself for an EGD test

  1. Fast for at least 8 hours to your test time. The fasting does not include water abstinence. You can actually drink water and other clear fluids of your choice up to 2 hours before the test time.
  2. Be prepared to give some important history your doctor will be asking. Before the test is carried out, you will be asked about the drugs you are taking (drugs history), the food you eat or ate the previous night (food history), chronic disease conditions you may have (disease history) etc. This history taking is to ensure that the procedure is done safely without any complications.
  3. Your healthcare provider will review your medications (if you’re on any) to enable him know which you may need to stop taking a day before the EGD test is done. Generally, you may be advised to stop taking blood thinners like Aspirin. Your antidiabetics may be adjusted.
  4. Go to the testing facility with an adult. He will help you especially after the test. This is because you will likely be drowsy after the test (as you will be sedated before the procedure).
  5. Your vital signs will be obviously be taken before the test.