Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Test Overview

An upper gastrointestinal ( or GI ) endoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your esophagus, stomach, and the first character of your small intestine, called the duodenum. The esophagus is the tube that carries food to your stomach. The doctor uses a sparse, lighted tube that bends. It is called an endoscope, or telescope .
The doctor puts the tip of the oscilloscope in your mouth and lightly moves it down your throat. The setting is a flexible television camera. The repair looks at a monitor ( like a television receiver set or a calculator screen ) as he or she moves the telescope. A doctor may do this routine to look for ulcers, tumors, infection, or bleeding. It besides can be used to look for signs of acid backing up into your esophagus. This is called gastroesophageal ebb disease, or GERD. The doctor can use the scope to take a sample of weave for study ( a biopsy ). The repair besides can use the oscilloscope to take out growths or stop bleeding .

Why It Is Done

An upper GI endoscopy may be done to :

  • Find what’s causing you to vomit blood.
  • Find the cause of symptoms, such as upper belly pain or bloating, trouble swallowing (dysphagia), vomiting, or unexplained weight loss.
  • Find the cause of an infection, such as helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
  • Find problems in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These problems can include:
    • Inflammation of the esophagus ( esophagitis) or the stomach ( gastritis) or intestines (Crohn’s disease).
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ).
    • Celiac disease.
    • A narrowing (stricture) of the esophagus.
    • Enlarged and swollen veins in the esophagus or stomach. (These veins are called varices.)
    • Barrett ‘s esophagus, a condition that increases the risk for esophageal cancer.
    • Hiatal hernia.
    • Ulcers.
    • Cancer.
  • Check the healing of stomach ulcers.
  • Look at the inside of the stomach and upper small intestine (duodenum) after surgery.
  • Look for a blockage in the opening between the stomach and duodenum.

endoscopy may besides be done to :

  • Check for an injury to the esophagus in an emergency. (For example, this may be done if the person has swallowed poison.)
  • Collect tissue samples ( biopsy) to be looked at in the lab.
  • Remove growths (polyps) from inside the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine.
  • Treat upper GI bleeding that may be causing anemia.
  • Remove foreign objects that have been swallowed or food that is stuck.
  • Treat a narrow area of the esophagus.
  • Treat Barrett’s esophagus.

How To Prepare

Procedures can be nerve-racking. This data will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure .

Preparing for the procedure

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 6 to 8 hours before the test. An empty stomach helps your doctor see your stomach clearly during the test. It also reduces your chances of vomiting. If you vomit, there is a small risk that the vomit could enter your lungs. (This is called aspiration.) If the test is done in an emergency, a tube may be inserted through your nose or mouth to empty your stomach.
  • Do not take sucralfate (Carafate) or antacids on the day of the test. These medicines can make it hard for your doctor to see your upper GI tract.
  • If your doctor tells you to, stop taking iron supplements 7 to 14 days before the test.
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
  • If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don’t have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It’s a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

How It Is Done

How is an upper GI endoscopy done?

Before the test

Before the test, you will put on a hospital gown. If you are wearing dentures, jewelry, contact lenses, or glasses, remove them. For your own comfort, empty your bladder before the test .
blood tests may be done to check for a low rake count or clotting problems. Your throat may be numbed with an anesthetic spray, gargle, or pill. This is to relax your joke reflex and make it easier to insert the endoscope into your throat .

During the test

You may get a pain music and a ataractic through an intravenous ( IV ) line in your arm or hand. These medicines reduce pain and will make you feel loosen and drowsy during the test. You may not remember much about the actual test .
You will be asked to lie on your leave side with your head bend slightly forth. A mouth guard may be placed in your mouth to protect your teeth from the endoscope ( telescope ). then the lubricated peak of the scope will be guided into your mouth. Your repair may gently press your clapper out of the way. You may be asked to swallow to help move the pipe along. The setting is no thick than many foods you swallow. It will not cause problems with breathe .
After the setting is in your esophagus, your head will be tilted good. This makes it easier for the setting to slide down your esophagus. During the operation, try not to swallow unless you are asked to. person may remove the saliva from your mouth with a sucking device. Or you can allow the saliva to drain from the side of your sass .
Your doctor will look through an eyepiece or watch a screen while he or she lento moves the endoscope. The doctor will check the walls of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Air or water may be injected through the telescope to help clear a way for the oscilloscope or to clear its lens. suction may be applied to remove atmosphere or secretions .
A television camera attached to the setting takes pictures. The doctor of the church may besides insert bantam tools such as forceps, clips, and swabs through the scope to collect tissue samples ( biopsy ), remove growths, or stop bleed .
To make it easier for your doctor of the church to see different parts of your upper GI nerve pathway, person may change your side or apply ennoble pressure to your belly. After the examination is done, the setting is lento pulled out .

After the test

You will feel dazed after the test until the music wears off. This normally takes a few hours. many people report that they remember very small of the trial because of the ataractic given before and during the test.

If your throat was numbed before the test, do n’t eat or drink until your throat is no longer numb and your gag automatic has returned to normal .

How long the test takes

The trial normally takes 30 to 45 minutes. But it may take longer, depending on what is found and what is done during the test .


How It Feels

You may notice a brief, abrupt pain when the intravenous ( IV ) needle is placed in a vein in your arm. The local anesthetic sprayed into your throat normally tastes slenderly bitter. It will make your tongue and throat feel numb and swollen. Some people report that they feel as if they ca n’t breathe at times because of the tube in their throat. But this is a false sensation caused by the anesthetic. There is constantly enough of breathing space around the tube in your mouth and throat. Remember to relax and take dense, bass breaths .
During the test, you may feel very drowsy and relaxed from the sedative and pain medicines. You may have some gag, nausea, bloat, or mild cramping in your belly as the metro is moved. If you have pain, alert your doctor with an agreed-upon signal or a tap on the arm. even though you wo n’t be able to talk during the operation, you can hush communicate .
The suction machine that ‘s used to remove secretions may be noisy, but it does n’t cause pain. The removal of biopsy samples is besides painless .


Problems, or complications, are rare. There is a slender risk that your esophagus, stomach, or upper little intestine will get a little tear in it. If this happens, you may need surgery to fix it. There is besides a slender gamble of infection after the test .
bleeding may besides happen from the test or if a weave sample ( biopsy ) is taken. But the bleed normally stops on its own without treatment. If you vomit during the test and some of the emetic enters your lungs, inhalation pneumonia is a possible risk .
An atypical pulse may happen during the test. But it about constantly goes away on its own without treatment .
The gamble of problems is higher in people who have serious heart disease. It ‘s besides higher in older adults and people who are frail or physically weakened. Talk to your doctor about your particular risks .


Your doctor may be able to talk to you about some of the findings properly after your endoscopy. But the medicines you get to help relax you may impair your memory, so your doctor may wait until they fully wear off. It may take 2 to 4 days for some results. Tests for sealed infections may take several weeks .

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy findings

normal :
The esophagus, abdomen, and upper small intestine ( duodenum ) count normal .
abnormal :
inflammation or annoyance is found in the esophagus, stomach, or little intestine .
Bleeding, an ulcer, a tumor, a tear, or dilated veins are found .
A hiatal hernia is found .
A too-narrow section ( stenosis ) is found in the esophagus .
A alien object is found in the esophagus, stomach, or little intestine .
A biopsy sample may be taken to :

  • Find the cause of inflammation.
  • Find out if tumors or ulcers contain cancer cells.
  • Identify a type of bacteria called H. pylori that can cause ulcers or a fungus such as candida that sometimes causes infectious esophagitis.

many conditions can affect the results of this examination. Your sophisticate will discuss your results with you in relative to your symptoms and past health .

Related Information

  • Medical Tests: Questions to Ask the Doctor


writer : Healthwise Staff
Medical Review :
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – family Medicine
Jerome B. Simon MD, FRCPC, FACP – gastroenterology

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