Endoscopy - Upper GI
|Your doctor has recommended that you have an upper GI endoscopy. But what does that actually mean?
An upper GI endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used by your doctor to inspect the inside of your throat, esophagus, stomach and upper intestine.
While it's considered a surgical procedure, endoscopy does not involve an incision. Instead, your doctor will pass a flexible tube, called an endoscope through your mouth and into your stomach and digestive tract.
This tube has a tiny video camera mounted on its tip,
it also contains a small tool used for taking tissue samples.
Because the passageway from the mouth to the opening of the small intestine is usually unobstructed, your doctor can use the endoscope to inspect the entire upper half of your digestive system.
Reasons for undergoing an upper GI endoscopy vary. You may have been suffering from one or more of a number symptoms - including weight loss, abdominal pain, chronic heartburn or indigestion, gastritis, hiatal hernia, trouble swallowing, pain caused by an ulcer or other problems associated with the stomach and digestive system.
Some gastrointestinal symptoms can be warning signs of serious medical problems and you should take your doctor's recommendation to have an endoscopy very seriously.
Luckily, the vast majority of medical problems diagnosed by endoscopy are treatable and you should look forward to improved health and comfort as a result of the information gathered during the procedure.
To create a better viewing area, your stomach will be filled with a small quantity of air which may cause you to have a feeling of fullness.
After a few minutes, your mouth and throat will feel numb.
The doctor will then insert the endoscope into your mouth and gently guide it towards your stomach and small intestine.
To better examine abnormal-looking tissues, your doctor may choose to take one or more biopsies.
Small instruments sent through the interior of the endoscope are able to painlessly remove small samples of tissue with a small scissor like tool by simply snipping them free.
After a thorough exam, the endoscope is carefully removed... and the support piece is taken out of your mouth.
Any tissue specimens removed during the procedure will be sent immediately to a lab for microscopic analysis. Your doctor will tell you when to expect results from those tests.
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