Upper Endoscopy

About

What is an Upper Endoscopy?

The term “endoscopy” refers to a special technique for looking inside a part of the body. “Upper GI” is the portion of the gastro­intestinal tract, the digestive system, that includes the esophagus, the stomach, and the duodenum, the beginning of the small intestine. The esophagus carries food from the mouth for digestion in the stomach and small intestine.

Our Team

Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Diseases of the Liver and Biliary Tract, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Colorectal Cancer, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Pancreatic Cancer
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Hepatology
Areas of Focus:
General Gastroenterology, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Video Capsule Endoscopy, Deep Small Intestinal Endoscopy, Small Bowel Diseases
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Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Acid Reflux and Dyspepsia, Small Intestine Imaging
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Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Liver Disease, Swallowing Dysfunction
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Barrett's Ablation, Small Bowel Diseases, Colon Health, Gastroenterology, Hepatology
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Diseases of the Liver and Biliary Tract, Small Bowel Diseases, Gastroenterology
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Disease of the Liver and Biliary Tract, Hepatology, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Areas of Focus:
General Gastroenterology, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Acid Reflux, Diseases of the Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine and Colon
Areas of Focus:
General Gastroenterology, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Liver Disease, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention
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Swallowing Dysfunction, Intestinal Bleeding, Capsule Endoscopy, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Liver Disease
Areas of Focus:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Barrett's Ablation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Capsule Endoscopy
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General Gastroenterology, Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Swallowing Dysfunction
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Diseases of the Liver and Biliary Tract, Cirrhosis, Viral Hepatitis, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
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Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Colorectal Cancer, Hepatology and Liver Disease, Celiac Disease, Research
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Hepatology, Liver Disease, Cirrhosis, Hepatitis
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Disease of the Liver and Biliary Tract, Deep Small Intestinal Endoscopy
Areas of Focus:
Capsule Endoscopy, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, General Gastroenterology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Pelvic Floor Disorders
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Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Small Bowel Diseases, Capsule Endoscopy, Balloon Small Bowel Enteroscopy
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Celiac Disease, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
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Barrett's Esophagus and Esophageal Cancer, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), Gallbladder and Pancreatic Diseases
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Celiac Disease, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Colonoscopy, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention
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Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy, Barrett's Esophagus Treatment, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Pancreatic and Biliary Diseases
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Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Women's Health
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Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Pancreatobiliary Disease, Nutrition
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Nutrition, Pelvic Floor Disorders
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Pancreatobiliary Disease, Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), General Gastroenterology
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Pancreas and Biliary Disease, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, General Gastroenterology, Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
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General Gastroenterology, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), Barrett's Ablation, Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
Areas of Focus:
General Gastroenterology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Diseases of the Liver and Biliary Tract, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Esophageal Manometry, Diseases of the Liver and Biliary Tract
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Viral Hepatitis, Esophageal Manometry, Colonoscopy
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), General Gastroenterology, Pancreatobiliary Disease
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Colonoscopy, Celiac Disease
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Gastroenterology Education, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Video Capsule Endoscopy for Small Bowel Evaluation
Areas of Focus:
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), Pancreatobiliary Disease, Barrett's Esophagus Treatment, General Gastroenterology
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Acute and Chronic Liver Disease, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Internal Hemorrhoid Ligation
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Barrett's Esophagus Treatment, Capsule Endoscopy, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Esophagoscopy with Ablation (BARRx), Hepatitis
Areas of Focus:
Gastroenterology
Areas of Focus:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Celiac Disease, Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, Esophageal Disorders, Esophageal Manometry
Areas of Focus:
Colorectal Cancer, Acid Reflux, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Intestinal Bleeding
Areas of Focus:
Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention, General Gastroenterology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Celiac Disease

What to Expect

Before the Procedure

Regardless of why upper GI endoscopy has been recommended for you, there are important steps you can take to prepare for and participate in the procedure:

Talk to Your Doctor

First, be sure to give a complete list of all the medicines you are taking — including any over­the­counter medications and natural supplements — and any allergies to drugs or other substances.

Your medical team will also want to know if you have heart, lung or other medical conditions that may need special attention before, during or after an upper GI endoscopy. It is important they know if you are taking diabetic medications or anticoagulants (sometimes called blood thinners) or have bleeding or clotting problems.

Prepare for the Test

You will be given instructions in advance that will outline what you should and should not do in preparation for the upper GI endoscopy; be sure to read and follow these instructions.

One very important step in preparing for upper GI endoscopy is that you should not eat or drink within eight to 10 hours of your procedure. Food in the stomach will block the view through the endoscope and it could cause vomiting.

Upper GI endoscopy can be done in a hospital, an ambulatory surgery center or an outpatient office. You will be asked to sign a form, which verifies that you consent to having the procedure and that you understand what is involved. If there is anything you don’t understand, ask for more information.

During the procedure, everything will be done to help you be as comfortable as possible. Your blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen level will be carefully monitored. Your gastroenterologist may give you a sedative to help make you relaxed and drowsy, but you will remain awake enough to cooperate.

You may also have your throat sprayed or be asked to gargle with a local anesthetic to help keep you comfortable as the endoscope is passed through. A supportive mouthpiece will be placed to help you keep your mouth open during the endoscopy. Once you are fully prepared, your gastroenterologist will gently maneuver the endoscope into position.

As the endoscope is slowly and carefully inserted, air is introduced through it to help your gastroenterologist see well. During the procedure, you should feel little to no pain and it will not interfere with your breathing.

Your gastroenterologist will use the endoscope to look closely for any problems that may require evaluation, diagnosis or treatment.

In some cases, it may be necessary to take a sample of tissue, called a biopsy, for later examination under the microscope. This, too, is a painless procedure. In other cases, the endoscope can be used to treat a problem such as active bleeding from an ulcer.

After Your Upper GI Endoscopy

When your endoscopy is completed you will be cared for in a recovery area until most of the effects of the medication have worn off.

You will be informed about the results of the procedure and be provided any additional information you need to know.

You will be given instructions regarding how soon you can eat and drink, plus other guidelines for resuming your normal activity.

Occasionally, minor problems may persist, such as mild sore throat, bloating or cramping; these should disappear in 24 hours or less.

By the time you are ready to go home, you’ll feel more alert. Nevertheless, you should plan on resting for the remainder of the day. This means not driving, so you will need to have a family member or friend take you home.

In a few days, you will hear from your gastroenterologist with additional information, such as results of the biopsy, and to give you the opportunity to ask questions to your doctor directly.

FAQ

Upper GI endoscopy can be helpful in the evaluation or diagnosis of various problems, including difficult or painful swallowing, pain in the stomach or abdomen, and bleeding, ulcers and tumors. Tiny instruments can be passed through an opening in the endoscope to obtain tissue samples, coagulate (stop) bleeding sites, dilate or stretch a narrowed area, or perform other treatments.

Years of experience have proved that upper GI endoscopy is a safe procedure. Typically, it takes only 15 to 20 minutes to perform.

Complications rarely occur. These include perforation, puncture of the intestinal wall that could require surgical repair, and bleeding, which could require transfusion. Again, these complications are unlikely; be sure to discuss any specific concerns you may have with your doctor.

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