Upper GI Endoscopy
This procedure is performed the physician can visually examine the upper portion of the patient’s digestive tract including the esophagus, the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). A flexible endoscope, equipped with fiber optics, light and camera is used. The endoscope can also be used to take tissue samples for biopsy and to perform certain procedures such as cautery to stop internal bleeding. Endoscopies are used to diagnose, monitor, and treat such conditions as esophageal bleeding, ulcers, and abdominal pain.
The procedure is performed with the patient lying down. The patient swallows the end of the endoscope, which is then passed through the remainder of the upper GI tract. To make this both possible and comfortable, a local anesthetic is applied to the patient’s mouth and throat (by spray or gargle) and a light sedative is given.
Preparation for the procedure includes fasting (no food or liquid) for at least 8 hours prior. After the procedure, the patient should not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours.
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