Reasons You May Need an Endoscopy
An endoscopy is a vital diagnostic procedure gastroenterologists use to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions affecting your upper digestive system. An endoscopy allows your gastroenterologist to view your esophagus, upper intestine, and stomach.
Gastrointestinal conditions an endoscopy is helpful to diagnose and treat include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastric and peptic ulcers
- Anemia and celiac disease
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
Your gastroenterologist may recommend an endoscopy if you are experiencing:
- Acute or chronic abdominal pain
- Continuous nausea
- Frequent vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
Before your endoscopy, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 8 hours before your procedure. Discontinue taking blood thinning medications and NSAIDS before your endoscopy.
Your gastroenterologist may ask you to take a sedative before your procedure, to help you relax before and during your endoscopy. Due to sedation, it’s necessary for you to bring someone with you to drive you home after your procedure.
During the endoscopy, your gastroenterologist will insert a thin, flexible tube into and down your throat. The tube contains a camera on one end. This camera allows your gastroenterologist to examine your esophagus and upper digestive system. If you have polyps or growths, your gastroenterologist can remove them.
An endoscopy also allows your gastroenterologist to take a small sample of tissue. Tissue samples and growths may be sent out for a biopsy. The biopsy can determine whether tissue cells are abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous.
When you have an endoscopy, your gastroenterologist examines your upper digestive system. For a comprehensive examination, your gastroenterologist may also recommend a colonoscopy, to examine your lower digestive system.
An endoscopy is an important diagnostic and treatment tool in common use by gastroenterologists. It’s safe, and effective, and it can even save your life. To find out more about reasons for having an endoscopy and how an endoscopy can protect your health, talk with your gastroenterologist today.