Endoscopic Upper GI

What is an upper GI Endoscopy?

An upper GI endoscopy, also called a gastroscopy, allows your doctor to look inside your upper digestive system to diagnose and sometimes treat conditions that affect your oesophagus, stomach and beginning of your small intestine.

A specialist in diseases of the digestive system, called a gastroenterologist, uses an endoscope which is a long, flexible tube with a tiny light and video camera on one end. The tube is passed through your mouth and throat to your oesophagus and stomach and into your duodenum. Your gastroenterologist will see a video image on a monitor.

You will be given a local anaesthetic and often a sedative beforehand to numb your throat and relax you.

They will check for symptoms that suggest an upper GI tract problem. These may include stomach pain, heartburn or indigestion, continual feeling and being sick, difficulty or pain swallowing and bleeding.

An upper GI endoscopy can also help diagnose or rule out suspected conditions such as stomach ulcers, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), coeliac disease, Barrett's oesophagus, portal hypertension and stomach or oesophageal cancer.

Your gastroenterologist may remove small samples of tissue for testing, called a biopsy.

They may also insert small tools into the endoscope so they can treat some problems. This may include removing items such as food that are stuck and blocking your upper GI tract, stopping bleeding inside your stomach or oesophagus, widening a narrowed oesophagus that is painful and causing swallowing difficulties, removing cancerous tumours and non-cancerous growths (polyps), and providing nutrients through a feeding tube.

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