Endoscopy, Enteroscopy vs EGD: Are They All The Same?

Sometimes medical terms and abbreviations can be confusing and many of them sound similar making it quite a challenge to decipher between them. Today we are going to look at a comparison of the terms endoscopy vs EGD and enteroscopy vs upper GI endoscopy. All these terms are related but they each have a specific meaning.

A Definition Of Terms Endoscopy, EGD, and Enteroscopy

What Is An Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is any procedure that uses a special medical device called an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin flexible hollow instrument that resembles a tube and is outfitted with a tiny camera and a light. This instrument is used to investigate different sections of the esophagus, stomach, upper GI tract, or small bowel.

During the procedure, the gastroenterologist is guided by a real-time video relayed by the tiny camera to a monitor located in the operating room.

Procedures that are performed with the use of an endoscope are called endoscopy, or endoscopic procedures.

What Does EGD Mean?

EGD is the abbreviation for the esophagogastroduodenoscopy procedure that is performed to closely inspect the stomach, the lining of the esophagus, and the first part of the small intestine also called the duodenum.

This procedure is commonly known as an Upper GI endoscopy probably because no one can pronounce the medical term. When comparing the terms EGD vs endoscopy, simply put, EGD is a form of endoscopy that looks at the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the beginning point of the small bowel.

What Is An Enteroscopy?

An enteroscopy is very similar to EGD but can examine deeper into the gastrointestinal tract. When comparing an enteroscopy vs upper GI endoscopy the difference lies in how far into the intestines the examination is done. The enteroscopy is designed to advance further into the patient’s intestines using one of three techniques.

1. Enteroscopy with a double balloon
The endoscope is outfitted with two very small balloons that alternately inflate and deflate advancing the tool along the intestinal pathway. This technique is sometimes referred to as a push-and-pull enteroscopy.
2. Enteroscopy with a single balloon
This technique uses one small balloon located at the endoscope end to advance it along the intestines. It is commonly called a push enteroscopy.
3. Spiral enteroscopy
This technique uses a special device that rotates clockwise progressing it down the intestinal pathway. It is especially useful for patients who have very small intestinal areas.

What Is The Difference Between Endoscopy And Enteroscopy?

These two terms are very similar but mean different things. Endoscopy is a definition used to describe a group of procedures that are carried out with the use of an endoscope.

Enteroscopy is a type of endoscopy that uses one of three different techniques to advance the special endoscopic tool far enough to examine the entire small intestine.

Enteroscopy vs EGD Comparison Chart
(Upper GI Endoscopy)
WHY perform the procedure
EGD examines the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and the first portion of the small intestine. Used to examine the complete length of the small intestine from the stomach to the large intestine.
WHAT it can diagnose and inspect
  • Ongoing heartburn;
  • Ulcer detection;
  • Chronic nausea and/or vomiting;
  • Inspecting for tumors of the stomach or esophagus;
  • Swallowing difficulties;
  • Unexplained upper abdominal pain or indigestion;
  • Source of bleeding;
  • Diagnosing Esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus) caused by the backup of stomach acid and digestive fluids;
  • Diagnosing Gastritis, inflammation of the lining of the stomach;
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Abnormal gastrointestinal bleeding;
  • Abnormally high white blood cell numbers;
  • Tumors;
  • Location of small bowel obstructions;
  • Unexplained malabsorption of nutrients;
  • Unexplained serious diarrhea;
  • Obtaining biopsy samples of small bowel tissue;
  • Removing polyps, or foreign objects;
  • Cauterization of bleeding small intestinal lesions;
  • Dilation of an abnormally narrow section of the bowel.

How Is An EGD vs Enteroscopy Performed?

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and Enteroscopy are similar procedures but are not the same. Both are endoscopic procedures but the enteroscopy can examine the whole length of the small intestine whereas the EGD procedure only investigates the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract.

Both enteroscopy and EGD require preparation of nothing to eat or drink at least 8 hours before the procedure. The doctor will also advise the patient regarding any prescribed medication that they normally take and they will also be advised to stop taking medications such as aspirin and blood thinners.

The EGD procedure normally takes about 45 minutes to perform compared to an enteroscopy which can take up to 2 hours depending on the nature of the examination.

Both the enteroscopy and the EGD procedure contain the same basic steps:

  1. The patient is given a sedative to help them relax during the procedure;
  2. The patient’s throat is sprayed with a numbing solution;
  3. The endoscopic tool is gently guided down the patient’s throat projecting a real-time video image onto a monitor that is located close to the gastroenterologist while simultaneously recording so the footage can be viewed again;
  4. Any repairs that need to be done are completed and biopsy samples are collected.

What Is The Recovery After An Enteroscopy vs An Upper GI Endoscopy?

Both are performed as outpatient procedures so patients return home the same day. A friend or a family member must drive the patient home because they will still be a bit groggy from the sedation. Some patients experience mild side effects after these procedures that may include

  • Abdominal bloating;
  • Mild abdominal cramping;
  • A small amount of bleeding;
  • Nausea from the sedation medication;
  • Sore throat.

The doctor will provide a list of rare but serious complications and instructions for contacting them if any should occur.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your digestive health and would like to learn more about endoscopy, enteroscopy, or upper GI (EGD) procedures, contact IBI Healthcare Institute.

Our team of experts is here to address your concerns and can help determine if you are a candidate for one of these procedures. Set up a consultation today to learn more about diagnosing issues of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Read more