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Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible endoscope to visualize the upper GI tract. The upper GI tract includes the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum - the first part of the small intestine.

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  • Treating diffused mucosal bleed with Argon plasma coagulation (APC)
  • Dilation of narrowed food pipe (Balloon dilation of stricture and achalasia cardia)
  • Metallic stenting of narrowed segments of food pipe or stomach
  • Removal of polyps (polypectomy)
  • Creating alternative pathway for feeding directly to stomach (PEG) or small intestine (PEG-J)
  • Draining fluid collections though stomach (Cystogastrostomy) in patients with pancreatitis

1. How is upper GI endoscopy performed ?

During the procedure, patients lie on their back or side on an examination table. An endoscope is carefully fed down the oesophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to a video monitor, allowing close examination of the intestinal lining. Air is pumped through the endoscope to inflate the stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see. Special tools that slide through the endoscope allow the doctor to perform biopsies, stop bleeding, and remove abnormal growths.

2. What problems can upper GI endoscopy detect ?

Upper GI endoscopy can be used to determine the cause of

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Gastric reflux
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anaemia
  • Bleeding in the upper GI tract

It is used for both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Diagnostic upper GI endoscopy is done to detect

  • Ulcers
  • Abnormal growths
  • Obstruction
  • Inflammation
  • Hiatal hernia
    - source of bleeding
    - tissue samples (biopsy) are also taken during endoscopy and sent for pathological examination     to confirm the diagnosis.

The following therapeutic (treatment) procedures are also performed through upper GI endoscopy

  • Foreign body removal
  • Treat bleeding ulcers by
    - Injection of medication (injection therapy) Application of heat (coagulation) or
    - Application of clips (hemoclips) to the bleeding vessel
  • Treat bleeding varices (engorged veins in liver disease) by applying plastic rings (EVL)
  • Glue injection for gastric varix