Upper endoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to have insight in the inner surface of the organs of the upper gastrointestinal tract i.e. the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
This type of endoscopy is performed with the assistance of a thin and flexible tube, inserted into these organs. There is a tiny little camera at the end of this flexible tube via which the picture of the inner surface of the mentioned organs is taken and then sent to a TV monitor.Upper Endoscopy - Exam Preparation
In order for the exam to be performed without any obstacles, the stomach must be completely emptied. All patients are advised not to eat or drink anything for at least six hour prior to the exam.
Furthermore, before the doctor will opt for upper endoscopy in the first place, he/she will ask certain questions regarding medications patients are taking, their allergies and comorbidities. The answers will help doctor chose medications he/she is going to use during the procedure and what drugs he/she is supposed to avoid in order to prevent adverse effects. After consulting the doctor some patients will be asked to stop taking some drugs for certain period before the procedure.Upper Endoscopy - Why It is Performed?
The procedure is done in individuals who have been suffering from symptoms and signs pointing to certain illnesses and health problems with the upper gastrointestinal tract. For instance, it can confirm or rule out various condition such as esophagitis, gastritis, peptic ulcers, cancers of the esophagus or the stomach, bleeding from upper portions of the gastrointestinal tract and polyps of the stomach. Apart from diagnosing conditions, endoscopy is an excellent means of taking tissue samples from the affected organs and it can also be used for small interventions such as polypectomy or taking care or closure of the bleeding blood vessels.
Upper Endoscopy - after the Procedure
After the procedure patients are monitored until the effects of all the administered medications wear off. Some patients may complain about sore throat. This unpleasant sensation can be brought under control with salt water gargles. There is also chance to experience abdominal distension because of the insufflated air, the one used during upper endoscopy.
Patients are also informed about when they may start eating again and they should have somebody who will drive them home because they will not be capable of driving for some time after the procedure.
The results of endoscopy are received either immediately or in case the biopsy has been performed, the patient will have to wait until taken tissue samples are analyzed pathohistologically.