WHAT IS UPPER ENDOSCOPY?
Upper Endoscopy (also known as gastroscopy, EGD, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a procedure that enables your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). A flexible, lighted tube that is about the size of your finger is inserted through your mouth before being inserted into your stomach, duodenum and stomach.
WHY IS AN UPPER ENDOSCOPY PERFORMED?
Upper endoscopy can be used to look into the causes of abdominal nausea, pain vomiting, difficulty swallowing or experiencing heartburn. It is a great method to determine the source of the bleeding that occurs in the upper digestive tract. It is also a good tool to examine the esophagus and stomach following major surgical procedures. It’s more precise than X-rays to detect cancer, ulcers or inflammation of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum. Upper endoscopy may detect early cancer, and discern between cancerous and non-cancerous disorders by taking biopsies from suspicious regions.
Biopsies are performed using a specially designed instrument that samples tissue. The samples are sent to the laboratory for analysed. A biopsy is performed for a variety of reasons and doesn’t mean cancer is suspected. A number of instruments may be used through the endoscope, which allow the gastroenterologist to treat a variety of conditions without discomfort or pain. The gastroenterologist is able to extend narrowed areas or remove polyps, eliminate swallowed objects or upper the gastrointestinal bleeding. The safe and efficient treatment of bleeding has decreased the requirement for transfusions and surgeries in a lot of patients. Upper Endoscopy (also known as gastroscopy, EGD, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a procedure that enables your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). A flexible, light-colored tube, about the same size as your finger is passed through your mouth before being inserted into your stomach as well as the duodenum.
WHAT PREPARATION IS REQUIRED?
The stomach should be entirely empty before you begin. For the 8 hours leading up to the examination, you should not eat or drink anything. Depending on the time of day that your test is planned, your gastroenterologist will be more explicit about when you should start fasting.
It’s possible that your medication will need to be changed or avoided. It’s ideal to let your gastroenterologist know about all of your current medicines, as well as any medication allergies, a few days before the exam. The majority of drugs can be taken as normal. Pre-examination medications such as aspirin, Vitamin E, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, blood thinners, and insulin should be reviewed with your gastroenterologist. It’s critical to notify your gastroenterologist if you need antibiotics before dental operations, as you could also need antibiotics before a gastroscopy.
Also, if you have any major diseases, such as heart or lung disease that may require special attention during the procedure, discuss this with your gastroenterologist.
You will most likely be sedated during the procedure and an arrangement to have someone drive you home afterward is imperative. Sedatives will affect your judgment and reflexes for the rest of the day. You should not drive or operate machinery until the next day.
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED DURING THE UPPER ENDOSCOPY?
You may have your throat sprayed with a local anesthetic before the test begins and given medication through a vein to help you relax during the examination. You will be laid on your side or back in a comfortable position as the endoscope is gently passed through your mouth and into your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Air is introduced into your stomach during the procedure to allow a better view of the stomach lining. The procedure usually lasts 15-60 minutes. The endoscope does not interfere with your breathing. Most patients fall asleep during the procedure; a few find it only slightly uncomfortable.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER UPPER ENDOSCOPY?
You will be monitored in the endoscopy area for 1-2 hours until the effects of the sedatives have worn off. Your throat may be a little sore for a day or two. You may feel bloated immediately after the procedure because of the air that is introduced into your stomach during the examination. You will be able to resume your diet and take your routine medication after you leave the endoscopy area, unless otherwise instructed. Your gastroenterologist will usually inform you of your test results on the day of the procedure, unless biopsy samples were taken. These results take several days to return. If you do not remember what your gastroenterologist told you about the examination or follow up instructions, call your gastroenterologist’s office to find out what you were supposed to do.
WHAT COMPLICATIONS CAN OCCUR?
Gastroscopy and biopsy are generally safe when performed by gastroenterologists who have had special training and are experienced in these endoscopic procedures. Complications are rare, however, they can occur. They include bleeding from the site of a biopsy or polypectomy and a tear (perforation) through the lining of the intestinal wall. Blood transfusions are rarely required. A reaction to the sedatives can occur. Irritation to the vein that medications were given is uncommon, but may cause a tender lump lasting a few weeks. Warm, moist towels will help relieve this discomfort.
It is important for you to recognize the early signs of possible complications and to contact your gastroenterologist if you notice symptoms of difficulty swallowing, worsening throat pain, chest pains, severe abdominal pain, fevers, chills or rectal bleeding of more than one-half cup.
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