The Basics of an Upper Endoscopy

Often when you are experiencing symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a doctor will want to perform an upper endoscopy that allows the specialist to see the esophagus, stomach and duodenum in detail. The procedure entails passing a thin, long, flexible tube with a small camera on its tip through the area, so the specialist can view the detail on a television monitor.

Knowing what to expect during the procedure can help alleviate any anxiety you may be feeling. Although the specialists at Atlanta Reflux are well-trained experts, it is normal for patients to be nervous prior to these procedures. Inform your doctor of any health problems, allergies, or medications you are taking. You will need to stop eating or drinking anything at least six hours prior to the procedure.

An upper endoscopy is more effective than an x-ray in ascertaining why you are experiencing heartburn symptoms. To prepare, you may have a numbing solution sprayed in your throat, and you will likely be given a pain alleviating and sedating medication. You will be asked to lie on your left side while the thin tube is slid through your mouth and down your esophagus. You will not experience any breathing problems, and likely only minimal discomfort.

After the procedure is finished, you will be monitored for a short time, and you may have a sore throat. You may also feel bloated from the air used during the procedure. Within a few hours, you usually can resume a regular diet and your driver can take you home. Most patients receive results shortly after the procedure. An upper endoscopy is a safe procedure with few risks or complications. The procedure can be an excellent way to evaluate the causes of heartburn and evaluate whether Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is present.

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