In the body, the upper GI tract is formed of the esophagus (which is called a food pipe), the stomach, and the initial part of the small intestine (also called the duodenum).

Any problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract need to be addressed using special instruments. Such an instrument is the “endoscope”. The endoscope consists of a long, flexible tube and the end of the instrument has a small camera, which helps in visualizing the inside of the GI tract. The output of this instrument is attached to the monitor, on which images are produced.

The upper GI endoscopy is medically known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy.


Upper GI endoscopy is done to find out the cause of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Loss of weight without any reason
  • Upper abdominal pain or chest pain, but the cause is not related to heart disease
  • Persistent vomiting for reasons unknown
  • Hemorrhagic upper GI tract

It is also done to diagnose problems as mentioned below:

  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Thinning of the vessels or obstructions
  • Enlarged veins of the esophagus
  • Inflammation or ulceration
  • Unwanted growth (could be malignant or benign) in the GI tract
  • Upper GI tract infections
  • Any other disease conditions of the gastrointestinal tract


After posted for upper GI endoscopy, the patient is asked to fast for at least 8 hours before the procedure. The physician may advise stopping ongoing medications, especially anticoagulants, which may increase the risk of bleeding if continued. In the case of chronic comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, or hypertension, specific instructions may be given by the physician.

To alleviate anxiety, sedatives are given before the procedure. This may keep you awake, but your mental faculties are not very active.

Just before the initiation of the procedure, an anesthetic agent may be sprayed to numb the throat so that endoscope can be easily passed.

The gastroenterologist examines the abnormalities in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. In case of any doubtful condition or growth, using the special surgical tool, a biopsy may be taken.

Some small surgical procedures such as to stop bleeding, excision of the polyps, growths (benign/malignant) may be done using the GI endoscope.

After the procedure, the patient needs to lie down quietly in the recovery area for an hour or so. After the sedative wears out, the patient is allowed to go home.

At home, the patient may experience gas bloating, cramping, and soreness in the throat for some time, which subsides by itself.


After getting the report/result of the Upper GI endoscopy, further treatment planning may be needed.


In general, upper GI endoscopy is very safe and rarely any complications are encountered. Still, some of the complications that may occur are - reaction to the medications given, complications due to existing comorbidities such as heart disease, lung disease, or liver disease. There may be bleeding from the site where the polyp/growth has been excised.

Major complications such as the esophagus, stomach, or duodenal puncture may occur, which may require further surgical intervention. But these complications are very rare.


Sahaj Hospital, Indore, is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art 3-D endoscope. The 3-D view gives a better depth perception. Very few complications are associated with the procedure and have a better surgeon and patient satisfaction.

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