An upper endoscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to examine the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the intestine. A thin, flexible, lighted tube, called an endoscope, is guided into the mouth and throat, then into the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.

An EGD may be performed therapeutically to control bleeding, remove tumors or polyps (growths), dilate narrowed areas in the upper GI tract (e.g., esophagus), remove foreign objects, perform laser therapy, and place a percutaneous gastrostomy tube (a tube used for tube feeding into the stomach).

The endoscope allows the physician to view the inside of this area of the body, as well as to insert instruments through a scope for the removal of a sample of tissue for biopsy (if necessary).

In addition to performing visual examination of the upper gastrointestinal (UGI) tract with the endoscope, the physician can insert instruments through the endoscope to obtain tissue samples for a biopsy, remove foreign objects, instill air or fluid, stop bleeding, or perform therapeutic procedures, such as endoscopic surgery, laser therapy, or dilatation (opening up). A video camera in the endoscope provides images onto a TV-like monitor.

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