An upper endoscopy (also known as gastroscopy or gastro endoscopy) is a procedure for examining the upper digestive tract. During this exam, a tiny camera at the end of a long, flexible tube is inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine.
As opposed to a colonoscopy, an upper endoscopy requires no special preparation beyond fasting for at least eight hours before the procedure. This means absolutely NO food or drink, including water. If you routinely have difficulty swallowing, you may want to fast for at least twelve hours before the endoscopy. Having a cold or laryngitis will not preclude you from having an endoscopy.
A gastroscopy is typically done to find the cause of digestive symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing. The test can reveal ulcers, acid reflux, and other digestive conditions. Your doctor may collect tissue samples for biopsy purposes in order to spot warning signs and diagnose illnesses that range from anemia to cancers of the stomach, esophagus, and other parts of the digestive system. An endoscopy can also be performed to remove polyps or foreign objects or to correct issues like a narrow esophagus.
Most patients who undergo an upper endoscopy at Medical Offices of Manhattan will be comfortably asleep during the procedure. A local anesthetic may be administered for patients whose insurance does not cover general anesthesia, but this is generally less comfortable. The examination itself takes less than 15 minutes, during which the doctor will use a color video display to examine the full four feet of your upper digestive system.
Generally, patients have returned to functioning normally within an hour of anesthetic being given. You should avoid driving a car for at least four hours following a gastro endoscopy. In some cases, you will receive the results of your endoscopy immediately after the procedure. This applies in situations where the gastroscopy is performed to find ulcers or remove an obstruction from the digestive tract, you will most likely be informed of your results immediately after the exam. If a tissue sample has been taken for a biopsy, it may take a few days to receive your lab results. If no digestive illnesses are discovered, your doctor will typically not ask you to have a follow-up examination.
An upper endoscopy is covered by most insurance plans. Contact your insurance company to discuss the specifics of your coverage.
An upper endoscopy is typically a very safe procedure with a very low chance of complications. On rare occasions, a gastroscopy may result in bleeding, infection, or a tear in the gastrointestinal tract. Some patients may have a negative reaction to the anesthetic used during the procedure, but our doctors will closely monitor your condition during the examination to minimize the likelihood of any serious negative reaction.
Medical Offices of Manhattan also offers colonoscopy, a diagnostic procedure that can identify conditions and illnesses of the lower digestive tract, including the colon, rectum, and large intestine. Screenings for other types of cancers are also available.