Upper GI Endoscopy
What is an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy?
Why would a doctor recommend an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy?
What does an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy involve?
How long is the recovery after an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy?
An endoscope is a tiny video camera mounted on a thin, flexible tube with a light at the end. It allows a doctor to see inside a patient's body. In an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, the doctor uses the endoscope to look at the swallowing tube (the esophagus), the stomach, and the beginning of the small intestine.
Upper GI endoscopy can help find the reasons for:
- Severe heartburn
- Stomach pain
- Pain or difficulty with swallowing
- Internal bleeding
- Feeling nauseous and vomiting
You will be given medicine to numb your throat, and maybe a mild sedative to relax you. A small device will help keep your mouth open during the procedure. You should feel no pain, and have no trouble breathing, as the doctor gently inserts the endoscope through your mouth and into your throat.
Your doctor will look at the images from inside your gastrointestinal tract on a television monitor, and check the condition of your esophagus and stomach as the endoscope slowly moves down to the intestine. He or she may also use the endoscope to take tissue samples for study (a biopsy), test for bacteria, or remove small growths.
The procedure usually takes only 15-20 minutes.
You will need to rest in a recovery area until the effects of your medication have worn off, about an hour. Someone will need to drive you home, and you should take it easy for the rest of the day.
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