Should I Get an Upper Endoscopy?
If you have a digestive system issue such as unexplained vomiting or difficulty swallowing, your doctor may recommend a procedure called an upper endoscopy. Also known as an EGD, an upper endoscopy enables your doctor to identify the cause of some digestive problems and even treat them during the procedure.
What is an Upper Endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is a procedure that’s performed by a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in digestive system diseases). It allows your doctor to examine your upper digestive tract, which is made up of your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (also called the duodenum).
They utilize a special tool called an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible scope with a light and camera on its tip. It’s gently guided into your mouth and throat and pushed through your esophagus, stomach, and finally into your duodenum. Your doctor will be able to see video images transmitted from the tube on a monitor.
What Does It Treat?
An upper endoscopy allows your doctor to not only examine but also to treat many types of gastrointestinal abnormalities. These include:
- Polyps in the stomach, which can be identified and removed with a small sample of tissue (biopsy) taken for analysis
- Foreign objects in the esophagus or stomach, which can be removed
An upper endoscopy can also be used to identify problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for This Procedure?
A good candidate for an upper endoscopy is usually someone who has a digestive problem such as difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, nausea, or vomiting.
Your doctor will also consider pregnancy, any allergies to medication, and any existing medical conditions before determining whether an upper endoscopy is right for you.
Why Would You Need an Upper Endoscopy?
The following are some common reasons to undergo this procedure:
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- To identify inflammation, ulcers, and tumors
What Are the Benefits of an Upper Endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy offers the following benefits:
- More accurate than an X-ray for examining the upper digestive tract
- Can typically be performed as an outpatient procedure
- Helpful for identifying the cause of a wide variety of symptoms
- Can be used to take a tissue sample (biopsy) for further testing
- Takes only about 15 to 20 minutes
If you have any symptoms that are common reasons to undergo an upper endoscopy, make an appointment today with Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center in New York, NY. Our top NYC gastroenterologists are dedicated to providing personalized endoscopic healthcare to meet your needs.