What is an Upper Endoscopy?
Upper endoscoppy lets your doctor examin the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube called and endoscope, which has its own lens and light source, and will view the images on a viedeo monitor. You ight hear your doctor or other medical staff refer to an upper endoscopy as upper GI endoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or panedoscoopy.
Why is an Upper Endsocopy Done?
Upper endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. It's the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. It's also more accurate than X-ray films for detecting inflammation, ulcers and tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
Your doctor might use an EGD to obtain a biopsy. A biopsy helps your doctor distinguish between benign and malignant tissues. Remember, biopsies are taken for many reasons, and your docotr might order one even if he or she does not suspect cancer. For example, your doctor might use a biopsy to test for Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that cause ulcers.
Your doctor might also use an upper endoscopy to perform a cytology test, where he or she will introduce a small brush to collect cells for analysis.
An upper endoscopy is also used to treat conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor can pass instruments through the endoscope to directly treat many abnormalities with little or no discomfort. For example, your doctor might stretch a narrowed area, remove polyps or treat bleeding.
What Can I Expect During an Upper Endoscopy?
Your doctor might start by spraying your throat with a local anesthetic or by giving you a sedative to help you relax. You'll then lie on your side, and your doctor will pass the endoscope throu your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The endsocope doesn't interfere with your breathing. Most patients consider the test only slightly uncomfortable, and many patients fall asleep during the procedure.
What Happens After an Upper Endoscopy?
You will be monitored until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. Your throat might be a little sore, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the test. You will be able to eat after you leave unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.