Monday, June 14, 2010

What is Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper GI Endoscopy (EGD)

What is Upper GI 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, stomach, duodenum and the beginning of the small intestine. The esophagus carries food from the mouth for digestion in the stomach and duodenum.
Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure performed by a gastroenterologist, a well-trained subspecialist who uses the endoscope to diagnose and, in some cases, treat problems of the upper digestive system.
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. 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, this endoscope can be used to treat a problem such as active bleeding from an ulcer.
The high quality picture from the endoscope is shown on a TV monitor; it gives a clear, detailed view. In many cases, upper GI endoscopy is a more precise examination than X-ray studies.
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.

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