An Upper Endoscopy provides a clear view your upper GI tract, including your esophagus, stomach and the first portion of your small intestine, in the same way as a colonoscopy allows examination of the lower large intestine. The thin, flexible endoscope is gently inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus, then advanced through the stomach and into the first portion of the small intestine.
The procedure is used to diagnose causes of gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, heartburn/reflux, difficulty swallowing, bleeding, nausea and/or vomiting, or abnormal x-ray results. An Upper Endoscopy may also be performed in some cases of chronic heartburn symptoms to screen for changes associated with esophageal cancer. It is a preferred test to find the source of upper GI bleeding, detecting inflammation, ulcers, and tumors.
Additionally, a Diagnostic Endoscopy can allow the doctor to find and treat any abnormalities found in the area. These can include removing polyps, treat bleeding, or dilating (stretching) an area that has become narrowed.
As the Gastroenterology Department at BID-Needham, we can provide access to the emergency services you need as quickly as possible. If you experience the following conditions, please have someone bring you to the hospital immediately as an emergency Endoscopy may be required:
- Severe internal bleeding.
- Food Impaction: When a large quantity of food is eaten (most commonly meat), and becomes stuck in the esophagus causing blockage and preventing further swallowing. You may experience chest pain, foreign body sensation, drooling (caused by inability to swallow saliva), and generalized sense of discomfort. Most food impactions happen in people who already have some type of previous esophageal issue.
- Volvulus: A condition in which the bowel twists on itself, causing obstruction to the flow of material through the bowel. It can also lead to obstruction of the blood supply to the intestine itself, which can result in tissue death within the bowel.