Upper Endoscopy Procedures – Where GI Health Begins
Proper functioning of your gastrointestinal (GI) system is critical to your good health. Good GI health starts with your Upper GI tract, which is comprised of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, the upper portion of the small intestine. Conditions ranging from heartburn to esophageal cancer, and lactose intolerance to gastritis occur in the Upper GI. An Upper Endoscopy, as the examination is called, enables a physician to examine all portions of your upper GI tract, and perform endoscopic procedures, such as taking tissue samples or performing dilations. The painless procedure utilizes an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube equipped with a camera that relays real-time images to the physician, who manipulates the endoscope and the small instruments that can be inserted through the tube to perform upper GI tests or other procedures. Upper endoscopy assists the doctor in evaluating symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. It’s an excellent test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. It is more accurate than X-ray films for detecting inflammation, ulcers, and tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. A biopsy (small tissue samples) is often obtained during an upper endoscopy. A biopsy can distinguish between benign and malignant (cancerous) tissues, can detect the presence of Helicobacter pylori (a bacterium associated with most ulcers) and can detect Barrett’s esophagus (a potential precursor to esophageal cancer). Upper endoscopy is also used to treat conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract such as bleeding and to dilate strictures (narrowed areas).
Diagnosing GI Problems with Endoscopy
An upper endoscopy examination is an invaluable diagnostic tool for patients close by in Queens, New Hyde Park, Laurelton, College Point, Whitestone, St. Albans and surrounding New York areas near you. Many GI conditions, both upper and lower, have similar symptoms, and this complicates their diagnosis, without which meaningful treatment can’t begin. Bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are among the symptoms of the full range of GI conditions. The upper endoscopy enables a gastroenterologist to look for telltale signs that point to the root cause of problems in the esophagus, stomach or duodenum – or that indicate the symptoms may result from a Lower GI problem. The upper endoscopy causes little or no discomfort. The procedure is performed while you lie on your left side, comfortably sedated. Our anesthesiologist will administer a short-acting intravenous sedative and will be present to monitor your vital signs during the procedure. The endoscope will be passed through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The endoscope doesn’t interfere with your breathing and you will not experience any sensation of gagging or choking. The examination typically lasts 10 minutes. Could advanced endoscopy procedures help you resolve a GI condition?