Upper endoscopy

What is an upper endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is a procedure to look at the lining of the upper digestive tract. The upper digestive tract includes the esophagus (food pipe), the stomach, and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). A long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera inside is passed into your mouth, then down your throat and stomach.

What are the reasons your doctor might order an upper endoscopy?
  • Unexplained pain in your stomach
  • Recurrent or long-standing heartburn or indigestion
  • Recurrent or long-standing Nausea and vomiting
  • Black bowel movements or blood in your vomit
  • Difficulties in swallowing or a feeling of food getting stuck in your throat.
  • Abnormal results from other tests of your digestive system
  • Follow up for growths or ulcers in your digestive tract.
  • It can be used as a treatment for problems with your digestive system, such as widening your food pipe (esophagus) if it’s too narrow and causing pain or difficulties when you swallow, stopping bleeding inside your stomach or esophagus, or removing growths
How to prepare for an upper endoscopy?
You will be given instructions from your doctor about what to do before an upper endoscopy, including when to stop eating and drinking.

What happens during upper endoscopy? To make your procedure more comfortable, you will be given a numbing spray to numb your mouth and the inside of your throat and medications to help you relax.
A thin tube with a camera and light on the end into your mouth and down into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The doctor will look for irritation, bleeding, ulcers, or growth. A sample from the lining of your digestive tract may be taken. Treatment of any problem found will be done, including stopping a bleed, removing a growth, or widening areas of the narrowed esophagus.
An upper endoscopy usually takes 15 to 45 minutes.

What happens after upper endoscopy?
You will be provided with instructions from your doctor about what to do after an upper endoscopy. You can go home within a few hours after the sedation wears off. In case you receive sedation, you should avoid driving, drinking alcohol, or operating heavy machinery for 24 hrs.
You may experience stomach and throat pain after the procedure; this is expected and should be relieved within a few hours.

When to seek medical attention?
Seek medical attention in case of experiencing any of the following after an upper endoscopy.
  • Fever or shivering.
  • Black stools
  • shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Trouble swallowing or severe throat pain.


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