What Is An OGD? (Oesophago Gastro Duodenoscope)
Dr. Kam Ming Hian
MBBS (Singapore), M.Med (Surgery)

Senior Consultant,
Colorectal Surgeon

An Oesophago Gastro Duodenoscope (OGD) is a specialized examination that allows your doctor to look inside your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum using an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, thin and flexible tube with a high-definition video camera attached to one end and controls at the other end. Your colorectal surgeon can guide the endoscope safely to the areas to be examined.

  • Why Do I Need This Procedure?

    An OGD is usually performed to evaluate symptoms of gastric bloating, acid reflux (heartburns), gastric pain or anemia. An OGD can determine if there are ulcers, gastritis or cancer in the stomach. Treatment may be performed through the endoscope, at the same examination. For example, heat treatment can be applied to a bleeding ulcer to stop the bleeding.

  • What Does It Involve?

    This procedure is usually an outpatient procedure. It is performed on an empty stomach after an overnight fast, after at least six hours without food and drink. During the procedure, everything will be done to make you as comfortable as possible.

    The OGD is done with you lying on your left side. An anesthetic spray will be applied to the back of your throat to numb the area. In addition, an injection of a mild sedative will be given. This will put you into a light sleep during the procedure. When sedation is used, your pulse and oxygen level will be monitored with a finger-probe throughout the procedure. The endoscope is then gently introduced. The entire procedure takes about 5-10 minutes. A sample of tissue (biopsy) is usually also taken to look for presence of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach which can increase the risk for cancer and ulcer formation.

  • What Are The Possible Complications From An OGD?

    An OGD is a very safe procedure. Complications rarely occur. These occur less than 1 in 10 000 cases (0.01%) and include bleeding and perforation (a puncture of the lining of the upper digestive tract), which may require surgical repair. The risks of sedation include lowering blood pressure, lowering oxygen level and slowing down breathing. This is minimized by using the appropriate dose of sedative and monitoring of pulse and oxygen levels.

  • What Can I Expect After An OGD?

    When OGD is completed, you will be brought to the recovery area for monitoring and observation. If you have received sedation, you should not drive or operate machinery on the same day. For this reason, someone else should preferably be available to accompany you home. Your Singapore colorectal surgeon will make an appointment for you to let you know the findings of the OGD, answer any questions you may have and, if needed, discuss treatment.

  • What Are Your Options?

    The alternative to OGD is a barium meal. This is an x-ray investigation involving drinking a white liquid (barium). X-ray pictures are then obtained. It will not be possible to obtain a biopsy or apply direct treatment to the lining, if required. Also, you will be exposed to radiation. For this reason, an OGD is usually the method of choice for evaluation of gastric disorders.