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Upper GI Endoscopy


What Is An Upper Gastro Intestinal (GI) Endoscopy?

An Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible endoscope to see inside the upper GI tract. The upper GI tract includes the Oesophagus, stomach and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

Why Is An Upper GI Endoscopy Performed?

This procedure is carried out in order to diagnose any of the following symptoms and conditions:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Gastric reflux
  • Anaemia
  • Bleeding
  • Ulcers
  • Abnormal growths & cancer
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Inflammation
  • Hiatus hernias

This procedure can also be used to remove stuck items or be used to take a sample biopsy for further investigation.

How Is An Upper GI Endoscopy Performed?

An Upper GI endoscopy is conducted after a patient is given a local liquid anesthetic that is gargled or sprayed on the back of the throat. The anesthetic numbs the throat and calms a patient’s natural reflex to gag when the endoscope is inserted. An intravenous (IV) needle is usually placed in a vein in the arm so that additional relaxing sedation can be given before and during the procedure.

Patients lie on their back or side on an examination table during a procedure and an endoscope is carefully fed down the oesophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to a video monitor, allowing close examination of the intestinal lining. Air is pumped through the endoscope to inflate the stomach and duodenum, making it easier for the operator to see. Special tools that slide through the endoscope allow the surgeon to take biopsies, stop bleeding or remove any abnormalities at the same time as the examination if required.

What Is The Recovery Like?

After upper GI endoscopy, patients are usually moved to a recovery room where they wait about an hour for the sedative to wear off. During this time, patients may feel bloated or nauseated. They may also have a sore throat, which can linger for a day or two. Patients will typically feel tired following a procedure and should plan to rest for the remainder of the day.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Upper GI Endoscopy?

All surgery involves an element of risk from developing complications. Risks such as injury, bleeding, delayed healing, scaring, infection, nausea and vomiting, perforation or leakage will all be discussed openly at consultation with your surgeon, as well as his scrupulous efforts to manage and minimise these risks to their lowest potential.

Smoking will adversely affect breathing and recovery and heavy smokers may be precluded from having this type of procedure as a result.

Although Upper GI Endoscopy is very regularly performed without any complications, all procedures, no matter how expertly or carefully they are performed, carry risks. The importance of a full evaluation and consultation to discuss your understanding and expectations in relation to these risks cannot therefore be over emphasised.

How Do You Find Out If You Are A Suitable Candidate For An Upper GI Endoscopy?

If you are unfortunate enough to have a problem that requires investigation then an Upper GI Endoscopy can provide conclusive and speedy evidence about what is causing your symptoms without the need for surgery. the only satisfactory method of treatment is surgery!

At East Midlands Bariatric Unit we understand the significant importance of the procedure you are considering and will spend time with you in consultation examining your problem in detail and considering the very best options available to you.

How Do You Make A Consultation Appointment?

At consultation you will be given both detailed information about the treatment options you are suitable for and encouraged to ask as many questions as you would like. If after careful consideration you decide to have an Upper Gi Endoscopy, then you will be treated swiftly at a time schedule to suit your personal needs and obligations.

If you would like to find out more about Endoscopy and discover if you are a suitable candidate for this procedure, please telephone or email the Easy Midlands Bariatric Unit to organise a consultation appointment.

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