Upper GI endoscopy is a very common medical procedure that is widely used to help in the diagnosis of a number of conditions that affect the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. The endoscopy requires the use of a device known as an endoscope. The endoscope is essentially, a long, thin, flexible tube that features a camera and a light at the tip which is inserted into the patient's mouth. The camera feeds live images on to a connected computer screen that also records the footage to allow the doctor repeated views at a later time. The endoscope is used to correctly diagnose a number of common medical ailments including ulcers, abnormal growths, inflammation, bowel obstruction and precancerous growths in the upper GI tract. Moreover, it is also used to help diagnose the primary causes of conditions such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anemia, gastric reflux syndrome and bleeding in the upper GI tract.
When undergoing an Upper GI endoscopy, the patient will first be asked to lie down on an examination table. A local liquid anesthetic will be sprayed into the back of the throat in order to help numb the throat and calm the gag reflex. A sedative is then administered through an intravenous injection into the patients system to allow him or her to relax and be more comfortable. Once the sedative and anesthetic have kicked in, the endoscope is maneuvered into the patient's mouth and down the throat. The endoscope is fed down into the stomach and the relayed video will allow the doctor a closer look at the intestinal lining. The endoscope device also allows for some amount of air to be pumped into the stomach to allow it to bloat, making it much easier to see the visuals being represented on the computer screen. Once the procedure is completed and the doctor or presiding medical staff is convinced that they have analyzed everything within the GI tract, the patient will be allowed to rest for a while. This is important in order to allow the anesthesia and sedative to wear off. This will usually take about an hour or so while the persistence of a slightly sore throat may last for a couple of days. Prior to undergoing the medical procedure, it is important that you inform your doctor of any medications, prescribed or non-prescribed, that you are undertaking as there is a possibility that they may interfere with the outcome of the procedure.
Submitted by M T on March 24, 2010 at 11:50