Alaska Digestive Center
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What is an Endoscopy?
What is the purpose of an Upper GI Endoscopy?

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.

Upper endoscopy is the direct visualization of the esophagus(the swallowing tube leading to the stomach), the stomach, and the duodenum(the beginning of the small intestine). These areas are referred to as the upper gastrointestinal tract.

What equipment does the doctor use for this procedure?

An endoscope is used to perform the procedure. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. By adjusting the various controls on the endoscope, the gastroenterologist can safely guide the instrument to carefully examine the inside lining of the upper digestive system.

What can I expect during an Upper GI Endoscopy?

Your doctor will give you a sedative medication which will make you 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. You should feel no pain and it will not interfere with your breathing.

A supportive mouthpiece will be placed to help you keep your mouth open during the endoscopy. As the endoscope is slowly and carefully inserted, air is introduced through it to help your doctor see better. Your doctor will use the endoscope to look closely for any problems that may require evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment.

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