Gastroenterology

Understanding Upper Endoscopy


Upper endoscopy gives the gastroenterologists here at Houston Digestive Disease Consultants in Houston, TX, an up-close view of the upper part of your digestive tract. The minimally invasive procedure helps them diagnose and treat a variety of gastrointestinal ailments.

How is an upper endoscopy performed?

Upper endoscopy is used to examine the lining of your stomach, esophagus, and duodenum. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach, while the duodenum is the upper part of your small intestine.

Your gastroenterologist places a thin, flexible scope into your mouth and passes it through your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum during the procedure. The scope contains a light and a miniature camera. The camera transmits images to a digital monitor, allowing your gastroenterologist to examine these organs without surgery.

During the upper endoscopy, your doctor may remove small tissue samples and send them to a laboratory for testing. These samples can determine if your problems are caused by an infection, cancer, or another gastrointestinal issue.

Before the procedure begins, you'll receive a sedative and won't remember anything that happens during your upper endoscopy.

When are upper endoscopies recommended?

During your visit to one of the Houston offices, your doctor may suggest an upper endoscopy to determine why you have difficulty swallowing or experience nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. The procedure is also used to determine the source of bleeding, as well as find tumors, ulcers, or inflammation.

Can I go home immediately after the procedure?

You'll stay at the endoscopy center for an hour or longer after your procedure. Your gastroenterologist will discuss preliminary results of the upper endoscopy with you. During your next appointment, you'll learn about the results of any biopsies.

Additionally, you'll need to ask a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure. Although you'll feel fine, the lingering effects of the sedative may affect your reaction time.

An upper endoscopy can help you protect your gastrointestinal health. Schedule an appointment with your Houston, TX, gastroenterologists at Houston Digestive Disease Consultants by calling (713) 777-2555 for the Memorial Hermann Southwest office, (713) 796-8627 for the Smith Tower office, or (713) 880-8707 for the Memorial Hermann Greater Heights office.

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