Gastrointestinal – Unit
Patient information brochure on upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
What is an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy?
Upper Endoscopy (also known as gastroscopy, EGD, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy) is where the doctor uses an instrument called an endoscope to look at the inside lining of your oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). A bendable, lighted tube about the thickness of your little finger is placed through your mouth and into the stomach and duodenum.
Why is an Upper Endoscopy Performed?
Upper endoscopy is performed to evaluate symptoms of
Persistent upper abdominal pain
Difficulty swallowing or heartburn or passing dark black stools (Malaena).
It is an excellent method for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract.
It is more accurate than the ultrasound or barium swallow for detecting inflammation, ulcers or tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Upper endoscopy can detect early cancer and can distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous conditions by performing biopsies of suspicious areas. Biopsies are taken by using a specialized instrument to sample tissue. These samples are then sent to the laboratory to be analyzed. A biopsy can be taken for other reasons and does not necessarily mean that cancer is suspected.
A variety of instruments can be passed through the endoscope that allows the doctor to treat many abnormalities with little or no discomfort. Your doctor can treat upper gastrointestinal bleeding, stretch narrowed areas or remove swallowed objects.
What Can Be Expected During the Upper Endoscopy?
You may have your throat sprayed with a local anesthetic before the test begins and given medication through a vein to help you relax during the examination. You will be laid on your side or back in a comfortable position as the endoscope is gently passed through your mouth and into your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Air is introduced into your stomach during the procedure to allow a better view of the stomach lining. The procedure usually lasts 10-15 minutes. The endoscope does not interfere with your breathing. Most patients fall asleep during the procedure; a few find it only slightly uncomfortable.
Samples of the Endoscopy images – refer to the images
What happens after the endoscopy?
You will be monitored in the endoscopy area for 1 to 2 hours until the effects of the sedatives have worn off. Your throat may be a little sore for a day or two. You may feel bloated immediately after the procedure because of the air that is introduced into your stomach during the examination. You will be able to resume your diet and take your routine medication after you leave the endoscopy area, unless otherwise instructed.
What complications can occur?
Endoscopy and biopsy are generally safe when performed by doctors who have had special training and are experienced in these endoscopic procedures. Complications are rare, however, they can occur. They include bleeding from the site of a biopsy or a tear (perforation) through the lining of the intestinal wall. Blood transfusions are rarely required. A reaction to the sedatives can occur. Irritation to the vein that medications were given is uncommon, but may cause a tender lump lasting a few weeks.
It is important for you to recognize the early signs of possible complications and to contact your doctor if you notice symptoms of difficulty swallowing, worsening throat pain, chest pains, severe abdominal pain, fevers, chills or rectal bleeding of more than one-half cup.
What if I don’t have the procedure?
Your symptoms may become worse and the doctor will not be able to give you the correct treatment without knowing the cause of your problems.
Kisubi hospital screens patients who needs endoscopy, attend to referrals in and procedures are done from the hospital.
For more information or booking;
Customer care: 0756 746 287
Appointments: 0751 881 773
Office: 0753 881 396
This post is not intended to take the place of your discussion with your doctor about the need for a upper gastrointestinal endoscopy