The Upper Endoscopy is a surgical procedure involving an endoscope to look into the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. It provides diagnosis for people with swallowing difficulties, abdominal pain, or other digestive problems. The benefits include:
1. Screening for Esophageal Cancer
Doctors use upper endoscopy to screen patients at risk of esophageal cancer. This includes heavy smokers, heavy drinkers, and people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn. During this test, the doctor uses a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera at the tip to look for abnormalities in the esophagus.
2. Diagnosing Esophageal Disorders
An upper endoscopy can also help diagnose an esophageal disorder when a patient complains of pain, difficulty swallowing, or bleeding from the throat. During this test, a doctor inserts a thin tube through your mouth and into your esophagus and stomach. They may use a small tool with a camera to get closer views of the organs or take pictures during the test.
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3. Identifying Precancerous Cells
In addition, doctors use upper endoscopy to identify precancerous cells in the esophagus. While you’re under anesthesia, a doctor will insert a lighted scope down your throat and into your stomach. They’ll take pictures of any abnormalities that appear. If cancerous cells are found, it may be necessary to remove them immediately or at a later time.
4. Checking for Hiatal Hernia
Another reason doctors use an upper endoscopy is to check for a hiatal hernia. This is when your stomach squeezes up through the diaphragm into your chest. In addition to pain and heartburn, a doctor can diagnose a hiatal hernia by inserting an endoscope down the throat and looking at the esophagus and stomach.
5. Monitoring Esophageal Treatment
If you have had radiation therapy for cancer in the chest, your doctor may use upper endoscopy to monitor how well the treatment is working. During this test, the doctor will insert a flexible tube down your throat and into your esophagus. They’ll take pictures of your esophagus to see if there are any signs of cancer.
6. Removing Foreign Objects
Doctors use upper endoscopy to remove foreign objects that get stuck in the esophagus. For example, a doctor may need to perform this test if you swallowed something, and it didn’t go down your throat or got lost somewhere along the way. An upper endoscopy may also be necessary after an injury or to remove a tumor that has grown around the esophagus.
7. Diagnosing Cancer and Other Diseases
Upper endoscopy is also valuable for diagnosing cancer and other diseases of the esophagus. During this test, your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube through your mouth and into your esophagus. They may use a small tool with a camera to get closer views of the organs or take pictures during the test.
8. Diagnosing Hiatal Hernia
Another reason doctors use an upper endoscopy is to check for a hiatal hernia. This is when your stomach squeezes up into your chest through the diaphragm. In addition to pain and heartburn, a doctor can diagnose a hiatal hernia by inserting an endoscope down the throat and looking at the esophagus and stomach.
An Upper Endoscopy in Baltimore is valuable for many reasons. If you are having difficulties with swallowing, heartburn, pain, weight loss, chronic cough, etc., this test might help your doctor identify the problem and come up with a treatment plan. If you are at risk for esophageal cancer, your doctor may recommend an upper endoscopy to look for abnormalities in the esophagus.