Sean C. Lai, MD -  - Primary Care Physician

Sean C. Lai, MD

Primary Care Physician & Gastroenterologist located in Santa Monica, CA


EGD (EsophagoGastroDuodenoscopy) is an essential technique for detecting and diagnosing problems in your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Dr. Lai uses state-of-the-art EGD technology to help patients in and around Santa Monica, CA, get the help they need for their upper GI health problems.


by Sean C. Lai, MD

What is an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)?

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure that enables your doctor to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the upper gastrointestinal tract, including your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. It's performed using a long, flexible scope called an endoscope which is inserted through your mouth and throat, then on to the stomach and duodenum, a small “pouch” that connects your stomach to the small bowel. The tube features a lighted end and a tiny camera that allows your doctor to see inside your organs to look for abnormalities and diagnose problems. The tube can also be used to enable specially designed instruments to enter and collect tissue samples for examination under a microscope or to perform other minor procedures.

Why is an EGD performed?

An EGD is usually prescribed to help diagnose or treat the following problems:

  • gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)
  • difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • extreme weight loss
  • stomach pain
  • frequent vomiting
  • ulcers and inflammation
  • obstructions
  • dilation of strictures (narrowing)
  • enlarged esophageal veins
  • gastrointestinal bleeding
  • hiatal hernias
  • tumors
  • ingestion of caustic substances like lye or detergent
  • removal of foreign objects
  • feeding tube placement
  • post-surgical evaluation
  • biopsy or fluid collection

What happens during the EGD procedure?

Prior to the procedure, you'll be given a sedative through an IV in your arm and numbing medication will be sprayed in your throat to coat it and prevent gagging when the instrument is inserted. During the procedure, the endoscope will be passed through your mouth and esophagus and into your stomach and the opening of the duodenum. Dr. Lai will take pictures and samples and perform minor procedures as needed. Once the exam is over, you'll be taken to recovery and monitored for a little while before being released. Since a sedative is used, you'll need to have someone drive you home.



Major Insurance Plans Accepted

Below is a short list of the insurance plans we accept. If you do not see your insurance on the list, feel free to call our office. We also offer very reasonable discounted packages for patients who do not have insurance coverage.

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross
  • Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • First Health (Coventry Health Care)
  • Great West Life
  • GWH-Cigna (formerly Great West Healthcare)
  • Health Net
  • Humana
  • Medicare
  • Oxford (UnitedHealthcare)
  • Tricare
  • United Food and Commercial Worker
  • UnitedHealthcare
Blue Cross
Blue Shield
First Health (Coventry Health Care)
Great West Life
GWH-Cigna (formerly Great West Healthcare)
Health Net
Oxford (UnitedHealthcare)
Lai, Sean C., MD 2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 1286W Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: 310-453-0553
Fax: 310-943-2776
Office Hours