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Upper Endoscopy GERD/Reflux Procedures in Baltimore, Maryland

Upper Endoscopy in Baltimore, Maryland or Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure utilizing flexible fiber optic instrument allowing to view the inside of the esophagus stomach and upper parts of intestine.

It is performed to diagnose the causes of pain, bleeding or blockage of the upper GI system, and it allows the option of removal of small benign tumors and tissue biopsy. Newer techniques and instruments allow physicians to alter the width of the intestinal tube in cases of narrowing due to scar tissue or reduction of the size of the lumen or stoma, as is the case with bariatric surgery.

Serving cities such as Frederick and Columbia and the counties of Anne Arundel, Maryland, and Lancaster, PA gastroenterology specialists Dr. Averbach, Dr. Hamdallah, and Dr. Swift are highly trained in the use of endoscopic technology. Please request an appointment online with Dr. Averbach or Dr. Hamdallah or call their office at 667-234-8725.

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)

Another procedure designed to repair the valve mechanism is called a Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, or TIF, and is sometimes combined with a hiatal hernia repair if the hernia is greater than 2 cm in length.  This procedure consists of an endoscopy where a camera is passed down the throat. A device attached to the endoscope is then used to fold the top portion of the stomach over the bottom of the esophagus to recreate the valve. The rates of reflux resolution are similar to those seen with more traditional fundoplication methods.

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)

A TIF may be an option for you if:

  • You have significant reflux that is not responsive to medication therapy
  • Have a small to medium-sized hiatal hernia
  • Have a desire to stop taking your antireflux medication


  • Low mortality rate
  • If no hiatal hernia is present, then the entire procedure is incisionless, which translates to less downtime and less pain
  • Ability to fix hiatal hernia at the same time if one is present
  • Folded over valve is more physiologically similar to the original valve
  • High rates of reflux remission
  • Lower rates of gas bloat, dysphagia, and flatulence


  • Not able to be performed on patients who have had previous bariatric surgery
  • Possibility of recurrence
  • Foods that you eat now may cause discomfort, nausea, or vomiting after your surgery
  • Requires adherence to dietary recommendations and follow-up compliance
  • Only suitable for patients with a BMI less than 40
  • A newer procedure, so fewer data available on long-term outcomes


Stretta is an entirely endoscopic procedure designed to increase the strength and size of the valve between the stomach and the esophagus. In this procedure, radiofrequency waves are sent into the tissue surrounding the valve, which causes muscle growth over time.  This enables the valve to close more effectively.  Improvements are seen gradually in the four months after the procedure, and about 84% of patients are able to stop their reflux medication completely.  Since this procedure is done entirely with a camera and flexible scope placed down the throat, no incisions are needed translating to less pain, and shorter downtime, in addition to no overnight hospital stay.


STRETTA may be an option for you if:

  • You have significant reflux that is not responsive to medication therapy
  • Have a hiatal hernia less than 2cm in length
  • Have a desire to stop taking your antireflux medication


  • Low mortality rate
  • Able to be performed on patients who have had previous bariatric surgery, regardless of the procedure
  • The entire procedure is incisionless, which translates to less downtime and less pain
  • High rates of reflux remission
  • Done as an outpatient procedure
  • Ability to do multiple treatments if necessary

The Upper Endoscopy Procedure in Baltimore, Maryland

During the procedure, a thin scope that has a light with a camera located on the tip will be used to look at your digestive tract. The doctor will look at your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

An upper endoscopy is usually done as an outpatient procedure, but there are times when it will need to be performed in the hospital or emergency room. This typically happens when your doctor needs to both identify and treat conditions immediately, such as upper digestive bleeding.

An endoscopy is often used to identify the causes of symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal or chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bleeding
  • Swallowing problems

They can also be helpful in the identification of conditions like inflammation, ulcers, and tumors.

Undergoing an upper endoscopy in Baltimore, Maryland, is a more precise method for identifying abnormal growths and inspecting the interior of your upper digestive system compared to X-rays. If an abnormality is found, it may be possible to treat it through the endoscope. Some abnormalities that can be treated this way include:

  • Polyps, which are tissue growths in the stomach, can be detected and removed, and tissue samples can be collected for analysis.
  • Restricted sections or strictures in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum that are the result of cancer or other diseases can be widened or expanded using balloons or other apparatus. In certain instances, a stent could be inserted into the stricture to keep it open.
  • Foreign objects lodged in your esophagus can be extracted.
  • They can treat bleeding from ulcers, cancer, or varices.

How Do I Prepare for Upper Endoscopy?

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, have a lung or heart condition, or if you are allergic to any medications before undergoing an upper endoscopy in Baltimore, Maryland.

Also, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Ever been told you need to take antibiotics before a dental or surgical procedure
  • Ever had endocarditis (an infection of the heart valves)
  • An artificial heart valve
  • Rheumatic heart disease

If you have any of these conditions or devices, you may need to take antibiotics before the upper endoscopy.

Do not eat or drink anything for eight hours before the procedure.

If you take medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid diseases, or a heart condition, you will be able to take them with a sip of water before the procedure. If you have diabetes and use insulin, you will need to adjust the insulin dosage on the day of the procedure. Make sure you consult with your diabetes care provider before doing so. Remember to have your diabetes medication with you to take when the procedure is complete.

It is important to arrange for someone to drive you home after the endoscopy, as the sedation used during the procedure can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired judgment. It will make it unsafe for you to drive or operate machinery for up to eight hours following the procedure.


There is a small chance of a hole (perforation) in the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus from the scope moving through these areas. There is also a small risk of bleeding at the biopsy site.

You could have a reaction to the medicine used during the procedure, which could cause:

  • Apnea (not breathing)
  • Difficulty breathing (respiratory depression)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Spasm of the larynx (laryngospasm)
Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital offers endoscopic GERD/reflux procedures in Baltimore, Maryland. If you are experiencing symptoms of GERD or reflux, contact our hospital for more information on how we can help you.

FAQs About Upper Endoscopic GERD/Reflux Procedures in Baltimore, Maryland

How much is an upper endoscopy?

The cost of an upper endoscopy will depend on factors including your insurance, the doctor performing the procedure, and where you get the procedure. If you want an accurate estimate of the cost of upper endoscopy, simply schedule a consultation with us.

How long does an upper endoscopy procedure take?

The endoscopy procedure generally takes between 15 to 30 minutes, however it may take more or less time depending on what the doctor is looking for. After the procedure, patients are asked to rest in the hospital for another hour or so.

How painful is an upper endoscopy?

Upper endoscopy is not a painful procedure as patients are typically sedated and given a topical anesthesia in order to reduce any sort of pain or discomfort caused by putting the camera down the patient’s throat. You may experience some slight discomfort during recovery, though.

Do they put you to sleep for an endoscopy?

Patients aren’t put under general anesthesia, however some patients may receive a sedative to help them relax during the procedure. This is because the procedure can take over a half an hour, and it’s important that the patient is relaxed during the procedure.

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