Endoscopy is a procedure that lets a doctor look at the inside lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It is usually recommended to evaluate unexplainable pain in the upper belly, for acid reflux symptoms, nausea and vomiting, black bowel movements, vomiting up of blood, or troubles with swallowing. The procedure is performed after fasting for 12 hours.
During the procedure, the doctor administers relaxing medicines intravenously and a mouth spray or gargle to numb the mouth. Then the doctor introduces a thin tube with a camera and light on the end into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum looking for irritation, bleeding, ulcers, or growths.
During an upper endoscopy, the doctor might also take biopsies to look at the tissue under a microscope in order assess the severity of reflux, or cancer risk, i.e. Barrett‘s esophagus. The findings guide a tailored therapy (lifestyle, medical, endoscopic or surgical therapy). The doctor may also treat problems, such as stopping bleeding, widening narrow areas of the esophagus (dilation) or removing growths. The most common side effects after endoscopy are feeling bloated and having a sore throat.
Risk for complications: + Discomfort: +
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