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Why is upper endoscopy done? PDF Print E-mail

Upper endoscopy is usually performed to evaluate symptoms of persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or difficult swallowing. It is also the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract.

 

Upper endoscopy is more accurate than x-rays for detecting inflammation, ulcers, or tumors of the esophagus; stomach and duodenum. This is particularly true when there has been a major operation on the upper gastrointestinal tract. Upper endoscopy can detect early cancer and can distinguish between benign and malignant (cancer) conditions by performing biopsies (taking small tissue samples) of suspicious areas. Biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily mean that cancer is suspected. Upper endoscopy is also used to treat conditions present in the upper gastrointestinal tract. A variety of instruments can be passed through the endoscope that allow many abnormalities to be treated directly with little or no discomfort, for example, stretching narrowed areas, removing polyps (usually benign growths) or swallowed objects, or treating upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Safe and effective endoscopic control of bleeding has reduced the need for transfusions and surgery in many patients.