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Health Information Center

Upper GI Endoscopy

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:


Upper GI Endoscopy

(Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; Esophagogastroduodenoscopy [EGD])


An upper GI endoscopy is a test that lets the doctor see inside the throat, esophagus, and stomach. The upper part of the small intestines may also be checked. It is done with a flexible tube called an endoscope.

Upper GI Endoscopy.

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Reasons for Test

This procedure is done to help diagnose the causes of:

  • Unexplained belly pain
  • Severe heartburn
  • Lasting nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blood in stool or vomit
  • Abnormal x-ray or other tests of the digestive tract

An upper GI endoscopy may also be done to look for:

  • Ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Polyps
  • Abnormal narrowing
  • Swelling

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Damage to the esophagus, stomach, or intestine

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

What to Expect

Problems to Look Out For

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
  • Severe belly pain
  • Hard, swollen belly
  • Black, tar-like stools or bloody stools
  • Vomiting blood
  • Symptoms that are new or are getting worse

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.





  • Understanding upper endoscopy. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy website. Available at: https://www.asge.org/list-pages/patient-informations/understanding-upper-endoscopy.
  • Upper endoscopy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/upper-endoscopy.
  • Upper GI endoscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/upper-gi-endoscopy.
  • Volkan, B., Bayrak, N.A., et al. Preparatory information reduces gastroscopy-related stress in children as confirmed by salivary cortisol. Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology, 2019; 25 (4): 262-267.


  • Chelsea Skucek, MSN, BS, RNC-NIC
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.