Upper endoscopy (OGD)


Overview

An upper endoscopy, also known as oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD), is an investigative technique used to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract. It involves the insertion of a long, narrow tube with a camera, which also includes lighting, irrigation and insufflation systems, into the mouth through to the duodenum. An OGD is effective at identifying the cause of diseases and facilitating the diagnosis of ulcers, polyps and cancers. Using different accessory instruments, it can be used to both diagnose and treat a range of conditions through procedures such as biopsy (taking a tissue sample for further examination), polypectomy (removal of polyps) and endoscopic dissection.

What is an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy is a short procedure performed under monitored anaesthetic care (MAC) or intravenous sedation (IVS) to investigate or diagnose upper gastrointestinal conditions including:

  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Polyps
  • Oesophageal gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST)
  • Oesophagitis
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Varices

The procedure is performed using an endoscope to view the inside of the upper gastrointestinal tract and investigate abnormal tissue or polyps. An upper endoscopy, also known as oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD), involves the insertion of a long, narrow flexible tube with a camera, which also includes a light, irrigation and insufflation systems, into the mouth through to the duodenum. Using different accessory instruments, an OGD can be used to both diagnose and treat a range of conditions through procedures such as biopsy (taking a tissue sample of abnormal polyps or suspicious lesions for further examination). The procedure can also be performed to remove foreign bodies, test for Helicobacter pylori, stop bleeding or relieve obstruction through stenting.

When should an upper endoscopy be considered?

Indications that an upper endoscopy may be required include:
  • Ingestion of a foreign body
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Vomiting blood
  • Anaemia
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Passing tarry stool
  • A mass in the abdomen

How do I prepare for an upper endoscopy?

Prior to an endoscopy, it is important to inform your doctor of any drug allergy, regular medications (e.g. oral hypoglycaemic drug, anti-coagulant, anti-platelet agent) or pre-existing medical condition (e.g. diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, pacemaker in situ). If you are currently on blood thinners, these should be stopped prior to the endoscopy as advised by your doctor.

To prepare for your endoscopy, you will be required to fast for six hours prior to your procedure.

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