When a physical exam can’t definitively determine the cause of your abdominal pain, you might need an endoscopy. Maria Lufrano, DO, is a board-certified gastroenterologist at ML Gastroenterology in Bronxville, New York. She performs endoscopy procedures to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal conditions that affect the upper part of your digestive tract. To learn more about endoscopy, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
An endoscopy, also known as an upper endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is a diagnostic test that allows your gastroenterologist to view and examine the upper part of your digestive system. This includes your esophagus, stomach, and the first portion of your small intestine, or the duodenum.
During the procedure, your gastroenterologist uses an endoscope — a thin tube with a light and camera — to evaluate the lining of your upper digestive system, looking for abnormalities that might explain your symptoms.
Your ML Gastroenterology provider may recommend a capsule endoscopy – or an endoscopy using a small, wireless, pill-shaped camera, known as the PillCam™ – if they need to capture images of your small bowel.
ML Gastroenterology performs an endoscopy to find the underlying cause of your gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, or gastrointestinal bleeding.
The diagnostic test may help diagnose gastrointestinal conditions such as:
ML Gastroenterology may also recommend an endoscopy if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or chronic acid reflux. GERD puts you at risk of developing esophageal cancer.
You may also need an endoscopy if you have an upper gastrointestinal condition that needs treatment, such as widening of the esophagus if you have esophageal strictures (narrowing of the esophagus).
ML Gastroenterology provides specific instructions on how to prepare for your endoscopy. In order to get the most accurate diagnosis, your stomach and intestine need to be empty. This means you need to stop eating and drinking up to eight hours before the test.
If you take blood thinners or supplements that increase your risk of bleeding, your provider may recommend you stop taking these medications and supplements several days before your endoscopy.
An endoscopy is an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes. During the procedure, you lie on your side on an exam table. Your provider sprays your throat with a numbing medication, and you may receive an intravenous (IV) sedative to help you relax.
Your provider inserts the endoscope in your mouth and guides it through your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, closely monitoring the images on a computer screen. The gastroenterologist may take a biopsy of any abnormal tissue or perform another procedure.
You then go to the recovery room for monitoring before you’re sent home. You need to arrange to have someone drive you home after an endoscopy. ML Gastroenterology schedules a follow-up appointment to discuss the findings of the procedure.
To schedule your endoscopy, call ML Gastroenterology, or use the online booking tool today.