If you have symptoms that do not go away, such as heartburn, vomiting or belly pain, your doctor may recommend an upper endoscopy. Doctors use this test to see inside the upper digestive tract and find the cause of your symptoms.
An upper endoscopy is also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). It is a test that enables doctors to examine the upper digestive tract, which includes the:
- Esophagus (“food tube” that connects the mouth to the stomach)
- Duodenum (upper part of the small intestine)
Doctors perform an EGD using an endoscope, which is a long, flexible tube with a camera and light at its tip. The doctor carefully guides the endoscope through the mouth and down the throat to view the upper digestive tract.
Doctors see images of the digestive tract and can take color photos of specific areas. They may take a biopsy (tissue sample) of abnormal tissue, such as growths, irritations or ulcers, which are sores in the intestine’s lining.
The doctor then sends the tissue sample to a pathologist, a doctor who analyzes tissues under a microscope to help diagnose diseases. The pathologist can identify disorders in the upper digestive tract.