Upper Endoscopy

Upper endoscopy is an examination of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a fiberoptic video instrument. The procedure is performed under anesthesia sedation. During the examination small samples of tissue, biopsies, may be obtained. Sometimes patients with swallowing difficulties will be noted to have a narrowing in the esophagus, a stricture, which can be treated at the time of the procedure.

Reasons for Upper Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a useful test for diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders:

  • Dysphagia
  • Heartburn (GERD)
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gastritis

How is the Test Performed?

The procedure is performed as an outpatient and requires no preparation. You should not have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours before your scheduled procedure. You will have an IV placed by a nurse when you are admitted to the facility.

Before starting, an anesthesia specialist will administer IV medication to be sure you are asleep and comfortable during the test. The gastroenterologist will then insert the small video endoscope and carefully advance it to visualize the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. If inflammation or abnormal tissue is identified, biopsies may be obtained. If narrowing is noted in the esophagus (stricture), special instruments can be used to treat the problem.

What to Plan

The procedure usually takes 10-20 minutes. You can expect to be at the facility for several hours.

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