Gastroscopy, also known as an upper endoscopy, is a medical procedure that involves examining the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine using a flexible tube with a camera attached to it.
This procedure is commonly used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions related to the digestive system. In this article, we will discuss the indications and uses of gastroscopy.
Gastroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed under sedation. During the procedure, a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted into the mouth and guided down into the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine. The endoscope contains a camera that allows the doctor to examine the lining of these organs for any abnormalities.
Indications for Gastroscopy
Gastroscopy may be recommended for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common indications for gastroscopy include:
Abdominal pain is a common symptom that can be caused by a variety of factors, including digestive issues, infections, inflammation, and trauma. Gastroscopy may be recommended to help diagnose the underlying cause of abdominal pain.
Difficulty swallowing, also known as dysphagia, can be caused by a variety of factors, including GERD, esophageal cancer, and other conditions. Gastroscopy may be recommended to help diagnose the underlying cause of difficulty swallowing.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. Gastroscopy may be recommended to help diagnose the severity of GERD and to check for any complications, such as Barrett’s esophagus.
Ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. Gastroscopy may be recommended to diagnose the presence and severity of ulcers, and to check for any complications, such as bleeding or perforation.
Celiac disease is a condition in which the body has an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gastroscopy may be recommended to diagnose celiac disease and to check for any damage to the lining of the small intestine.
Gastroscopy may be recommended to check for the presence of cancer in the esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine. This is particularly important for individuals who have a family history of gastrointestinal cancer or who have other risk factors for the disease.
Uses of Gastroscopy
In addition to diagnosing the underlying cause of symptoms, gastroscopy can also be used to treat certain conditions. Some of the most common uses of gastroscopy include:
During gastroscopy, the doctor may take a small tissue sample, or biopsy, from the lining of the esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine. This sample can then be examined under a microscope to help diagnose the underlying condition.
Polyps are small growths that can develop in the lining of the esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine. During gastroscopy, the doctor may remove any polyps that are found, which can help prevent them from becoming cancerous.
Dilatation is a procedure in which a balloon is used to widen a narrow area of the esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine. This can be helpful for individuals who have difficulty swallowing or who have a stricture, or narrowing, in the digestive tract.
Control of Bleeding
Gastroscopy can be used to control bleeding in the digestive tract. If the doctor identifies a bleeding site during the procedure, they may be able to stop the bleeding using a variety of techniques, such as injecting medication or applying heat or pressure.