Reflux, Endoscopy (EGD)
Upper endoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). Your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope, which has its own lens and light source and we will view the images on a video monitor. You might hear your doctor or other medical staff refer to upper endoscopy as upper GI endoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or panendoscopy.
Upper endoscopy helps your doctor evaluation symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, reflux, nausea, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing. It’s also the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. It’s also more accurate than x-ray films for detecting inflammation, ulcers and tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Your doctor might use upper endoscopy to obtain a biopsy (small tissue samples). A biopsy helps your doctor distinguish between benign and malignant (cancerous) tissues. Remember, biopsies are taken for many reasons, and your doctor might order one even if he or she does not suspect cancer. For example, your doctor might use a biopsy to test for Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that cause ulcers. Upper endoscopy is also used to treat conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor can pass instruments through the endoscopy to directly treat many abnormalities with little or no discomfort. For example, your doctor might stretch a narrow area (a stricture that can sometimes cause trouble swallowing), remove polyps (usually benign growths) or treat bleeding.
Esophageal dilatation is a procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus (swallowing tube) which can sometimes cause trouble swallowing. Your doctor can use various techniques for this procedure.