This procedure is used to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum for inflammation, ulcers, or growths. It can rule out disorders such as acid reflux or hiatal hernia. The physician uses a small camera, called an endoscope, which is inserted into the mouth and guided down the throat. The examination usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes.
The patient lies down on his or her side. A sedative is administered, and a local anesthetic is sprayed into the mouth to help relieve the gag reflex. A mouth guard is inserted to protect the teeth.
The endoscope is carefully advanced down the esophagus and into the stomach. Air may be pumped through the endoscope to help the physician examine the esophagus, stomach, or upper duodenum. Small tissue samples may be taken for further examination.
End of Procedure and Aftercare
The endoscope is slowly removed from the esophagus. The patient is carefully observed after the procedure, and eating and drinking is restricted until the anesthetic wears off and the gag reflex returns. The patient may experience some cramping, bloating, or gas after the procedure.
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