What is an Upper Endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is also known as an esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD. An EGD visualizes the lining of the esophagus (food pipe), stomach and upper small intestine (duodenum). An upper endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that is done to find out why your child is having:
- stomach pain
- trouble swallowing
- trouble growing
The endoscope tubing houses thin fibers of bendable glass, which transmit light and images back to the viewer. While under anesthesia, a flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope is gently placed in your child’s mouth to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine. During an upper endoscopy, small tissue samples called biopsies are taken to look for inflammation, infection, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcers.
What is a Lower Endoscopy?
A lower endoscopy is also known as a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to visualize the lining of the large intestine and the last part of the small intestine. A colonoscopy is done to find out why your child is having:
- abdominal pain
- blood in the stool
- poor growth
While under anesthesia, the colonoscope is gently placed into your child’s anus to view the large intestine and last part of the small intestine. During a colonoscopy, biopsies are taken to look for inflammation, infection, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, polyps, and sources of bleeding.
How do I prepare my child for an EGD and/or Colonoscopy?
Preparing for an EGD is straightforward. Your child should not eat or drink anything on the day of the test. Depending on the time of the test, your child may be allowed to have clear liquids earlier in the day. Instructions for eating and drinking will always be given ahead of time and when in doubt, always check with your child’s physician.
Preparing for a Colonoscopy does require planning ahead. The day before the test, your child’s doctor will give specific instructions on what your child can eat and drink. Your child will also drink laxatives to flush out all the stool or poop. It is extremely important that the poop has been completely evacuated, otherwise, the colonoscopy will not be able to be properly performed.
Watching a simple video describing an EGD and Colonoscopy may help your child better understand what to expect. (Pay close attention starting at the 2:05 minute mark.)
How to Prepare Your Child for Anesthesia:
A parent’s biggest fear is usually the risk of anesthesia. Most gastrointestinal procedures in children are done with a board certified pediatric anesthesiologist. The pediatric anesthesiologist that Dr. Dave works with has made a video to help answer questions: Watch now.
What to Expect After the Procedure:
Immediately after the procedure, your child’s doctor will have pictures to share with your family. Arrangements will also be made to discuss the biopsy results and further management at a future date. Your child will be awake and offered a drink or popsicle while you sit with them in recovery. Discharge instructions will be discussed. Most children recover quickly and are on their way home in no time.
It is completely normal to be nervous about the procedure but speaking to your child’s doctor and watching the videos usually helps most families feel comfortable.