What is Upper GI Endoscopy?
Upper GI endoscopy is a special exam of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If you are having symptoms of an upper GI problem, this procedure may be done to help find the cause and also help treat upper GI problems.
During endoscopy, a long, narrow and flexible tube called an endoscope is used. This allows your doctor to look directly into the upper part of your GI tract. The esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) make up the upper GI tract.
What Upper GI Endoscopy Can Do?
Upper GI endoscopy helps diagnose ulcers, gastritis, growths, cause of bleeding or pain and cancer. It may detect the presence of H.poylori, a type of bacteria that causes ulcers. It is also used for taking a sample of tissue (biopsy). Foreign objects or growths can be removed. Bleeding can be stopped and narrowed areas (strictures) can be opened.
Follow these and any other instructions you are given before your upper endoscopy procedure. If you don’t follow the doctor’s endoscopy prep instructions carefully, the test may need to be cancelled or repeated.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. If your exam is in the afternoon, drink only clear liquids in the morning and do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before exam.
- Bring your x-rays and any other tests results you have.
- Because you will be sedated, arrange for an adult to drive you home after exam.
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider before the exam if:
- You are allergic to any medications or anesthetic.
- You take any medications, especially aspirin, arthritis medications, or blood thinners.
- You have heart or lung problems.
- You are pregnant.
What is Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is the visual examination of the large intestine (colon) using a lighted, flexible fiber optic or video endoscope. The colon begins in the right-lower abdomen and looks like a big question mark as it moves up and around the abdomen, ending in the rectum. It is 5 to 6 feet long. The colonoscopy procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and weight loss.
The flexible colon scope is a remarkable piece of equipment that can be directed and moved around the many bends in the colon. Colonoscopes are newer video endoscopies that contain a tiny, optically sensitive computer chip at the end. Electronic signals are then transmitted up the scope to a computer, which displays the image on a large video screen. Photographs are often taken to document findings during colonoscopy. An open channel in the scopes allows the other instruments to be passed through in order to perform biopsies, remove polyps, or inject solutions.
Talk to Your Doctor
Give your doctor a complete list of all the medicines you are taking including over-the-counter medications, natural supplements, and any allergies you have to drugs or other substances. Your medical team will want to know if you have heart, lung, or other medical conditions that may need special attention. It is especially important to discuss the taking of diabetic medications and anticoagulants (sometimes called blood thinners) with your physician before the test.
Prepare for Your Colon Test
You will be given instructions in advance that will outline what you should and should not do in preparation for colonoscopy. Be sure to read and follow these instructions. One critical step is to thoroughly clean out the colon, which, for some patients, can be the most trying part of the entire exam. It is essential that you complete this step carefully, because how well the bowel is emptied will help determine how well your doctor can examine it during colonoscopy.
Various methods can be used to help cleanse the bowel, and your doctor will recommend what he or she prefers in your specific case. Often, a liquid preparation is given by mouth and is designed to stimulate bowel movements. Additional approaches include special diets, such as clear fluids, or the use of enemas or suppositories. Whichever method or combination of methods is recommended for you, be sure to follow instructions directed.
Schedule an appointment with your provider if you have health concerns that may require an endoscopy or colonoscopy.