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Our Services / Upper Endoscopy

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About Upper Endoscopy

To investigate symptoms like swallowing difficulties and persistent heartburn in detail, you may need to undergo an upper endoscopy. The experienced gastroenterologists at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, can make sure your procedure causes minimal discomfort. For more information on upper endoscopy and how it can help with your diagnosis and treatment, contact your local office among 13 in Charlotte, Belmont, Concord, Davidson, Matthews, Monroe, Huntersville, University, and Pineville, North Carolina. Call or book an appointment online today.

Upper Endoscopy Q & A

What is upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure used to examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum (the top of your small intestine).

To perform an upper endoscopy, your provider at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, uses a small camera on a flexible tube called an endoscope. They insert the endoscope through your mouth and guide it down your throat. The process could take 5-20 minutes.

Why would I need an upper endoscopy?

Your provider at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, might recommend that you have an upper endoscopy if they need to see the tissues in your upper digestive tract more clearly. Conditions that might require an upper endoscopy investigation include:


Gastric (stomach) ulcers and peptic (duodenal) ulcers are sores that develop in the tissues. They may be painful and cause indigestion symptoms, although some people have them without knowing. 

Ulcers are usually due to infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria or overuse of medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.


Growths may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Lab analysis of biopsy material can confirm which you have.


Inflammation could be caused by many issues, including infection, conditions like Crohn’s disease, or a reaction to medication.

Hiatal hernia

A hiatal hernia forms if the top portion of your stomach squeezes through a gap in the diaphragm — a sheet of muscle in your upper abdomen.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Acid reflux, which causes heartburn, most often happens when a weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) allows stomach acid to travel back up into your esophagus. 

Chronic acid reflux causes scarring and results in GERD. Untreated GERD can lead to tissue changes (Barrett’s esophagus) and, in some cases, esophageal cancer.

What happens when I have an upper endoscopy?

You need to lie on your side for your upper endoscopy. Your provider gives you a sedative so you’re calm and relaxed, and sprays a local anesthetic into your mouth. The spray helps to prevent gagging when the tube goes down your throat. You also have a mouth guard to protect your teeth.

Next, your provider carefully passes the endoscope down your esophagus and into your stomach. They may pump air through the endoscope to expand the cavity to see the tissues more clearly. They might also take small tissue samples (biopsies) for further examination.

At the end of the procedure, your provider slowly removes the endoscope from your esophagus. You stay under observation to make sure all is well, 

and you won’t be able to eat until your anesthetic wears off and your gag reflex returns. Some patients experience cramping, bloating, or gas after upper endoscopy. 

For more information, call Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, today, or book an appointment online.