Help & Hope for Kids with Digestive Disorders

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  • NASPGHAN North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • NASPGHAN Foundation North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
  • APGNN The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
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Endoscopy (upper)

Upper Endoscopy is when the doctor uses a flexible tube with a camera and light to look at the throat, stomach and upper intestine to see what is causing stomach pain, diarrhea or other problems. To learn more about the use of upper endoscopy in children, download the GIKids Fact sheet on Upper Endoscopy.

Fact Sheets





Real Video of Upper Endoscopy Procedure (autodownloads video when clicked)

What is an Upper Endoscopy?

The child’s doctor has recommended an Upper Endoscopy (also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD). This is a test in which the doctor looks directly into the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine with a narrow bendable tube, mounted with a camera and a light, to help find out why kids have stomach pain, diarrhea, throwing up, or trouble growing. The doctor may take very small tissue samples, the size of a pinhead.

Reasons why children may need an Upper Endoscopy?

There are many reasons why children may need an Upper Endoscopy including:

  • Vomiting
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble growing
  • Diarrhea
  • Belly pain
  • Taking out food, coins or other things that get stuck

What happens before and after the test?

Before the test, on the morning of the test, the child should not eat or drink anything because this can cause problems with the sleep medicine administered before the test. After the test, your doctor may have pictures to show. At the same time, he or she can tell the family if there are any medicines the child should take. Once the child is drinking well, they can start eating again and go home. A few kids feel sick after the test and may be watched a little longer.

After the test, if the child has any of these symptoms, call their doctor:

  • Stomach pain for more than an hour — most kids feel fine after the test.
  • Throwing up several times — to make sure this is not a problem, have them drink small amounts of beverages like Sprite or giner ale, and popsicles
  • Bleeding — spitting up small amounts of blood may be normal. However, if there is more than a spoonful or it lasts longer than 1 day, let the doctor know.
  • Persistent fevers
  • Sore throat — the child may have a sore throat for a day or two after the test. If this is really bad or does not go away contact the doctor.;

For more information or to locate a pediatric gastroenterologist, please visit NASPGHAN.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: This information from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) is intended only to provide general information and not as a definitive basis for diagnosis or treatment in any particular case. It is very important that you consult your doctorabout your specific condition.