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Digestive endoscopy: what it is and how to prepare

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The upper endoscopy or gastroscopy is a type of test conducted to diagnose and / or treat certain conditions present in the upper digestive tract, which are the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The procedure consists of visualizing the interior of the intestine through an endoscope introduced through the mouth, so that a series of pathologies produced in that area can be diagnosed, analyzed and treated.

At FastlyHealwe explain in depth what a digestive endoscopy is , in which cases it is performed and how you should prepare if you have to undergo this medical examination.

What is digestive endoscopy?

The digestive endoscopy procedure consists of the introduction of the endoscope, a device made up of a long, flexible tube and a video camera at its end, through the mouth and into the intestine . The tube is usually approximately one centimeter in diameter and has a channel inside through which various instruments can be inserted that allow actions to be carried out in the digestive tract.

Therefore, in addition to viewing the image of the intestine through a monitor, air or liquid can also be injected to distend, inspect or clean the area, aspirate and take samples from the digestive tract and introduce micro-forceps or micro-scissors to perform biopsies, collect samples tissue or carry out a surgical intervention.

When is digestive endoscopy performed?

Some of the most common reasons this test is performed are the following:

  • Analyze problems of the esophagus such as narrowing of it or esophagitis, of the stomach such as gastritis or gastric ulcers and of the duodenum such as a duodenal ulcer.
  • Diagnose a hiatal hernia , gastroesophageal reflux, the cause of bloody vomiting, celiac disease, or digestive tumors.
  • Detect bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract or the reason for symptoms such as pain in the upper abdomen, malabsorption problems, vomiting, weight loss or difficulty swallowing.

Regarding its therapeutic uses, digestive endoscopy can be useful, among other things, to:

  • Remove a polyp at any point in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Treat digestive bleeding caused by ulcers or vascular lesions by cauterizing the bleeding vessel or placing garters on bleeding esophageal varices.
  • Place prosthesis in the digestive tract, take biopsies of the tissues of the same or remove stones from the bile duct.
  • Expel foreign bodies that have been swallowed or stuck in the upper intestine.

How to prepare for digestive endoscopy?

When undergoing this medical test, it is important to consider the following issues:

  • First of all, your doctor must know if you are pregnant, if you suffer from lung or heart disease or if you have an allergy to any medication.
  • You also need to let him know if you are taking anti-inflammatories, aspirin, blood thinners, or iron supplements, since all of these can affect the performance of the test.
  • For the exam it will not be necessary to enter you, but it is done on an outpatient basis. The test usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes , but it all depends on the objective of the test and the characteristics of your case. It does not take the same time to carry out an observation than a surgical intervention, for example.
  • To carry out digestive endoscopy, a sedative is usually administered to relax the patient and facilitate the test, so it is advisable to be accompanied by someone , especially when returning home.
  • You must remain without food or drink for 6-8 hours prior to the test. This step will greatly facilitate the exploration of the intestine and decrease your chances of vomiting during the process. If that happens, the vomit could enter the respiratory tract and cause lung problems, making it dangerous.
  • You will have to have a signed consent in which you will be informed of the test and its risks.

Suffering from certain intestinal or heart diseases, clotting problems or being pregnant are some of the cases in which the test is not recommended . Remember to inform yourself well and, above all, consult with your doctor.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Digestive endoscopy: what it is and how to prepare , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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