If you have swallowing difficulties, chest pain, heartburn, or other digestive symptoms, you may need an upper endoscopy to find out why. At GastroCare LI, in Valley Stream, New York, esteemed gastroenterologists Bradley Rieders, MD, and Brandon Rieders, MD, perform an upper endoscopy to safely examine the upper digestive tract in detail. An upper endoscopy can detect conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), allowing you to get the treatment you need. Call the office or book your appointment online today.

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What is an upper endoscopy?

A esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), or upper endoscopy, is a diagnostic test used to evaluate problems in the top part of the digestive tract. You may already know about colonoscopy, a type of endoscopy used in colon cancer screening. Upper endoscopy examines the opposite end of your digestive tract.

How does an upper endoscopy work?

Before an upper endoscopy, you’ll receive intravenous (IV) sedation, so you’ll probably sleep through the procedure. During an upper endoscopy, your gastroenterologist at GastroCare LI moves an endoscope — a long bending tube with a tiny camera — through your mouth.

They advance the endoscope down your esophagus (food tube), into your stomach, and on through to the duodenum (the first part of your small intestine).

The camera collects images of your digestive tract, which your doctor views on a nearby screen. Should they observe an area requiring further analysis, your doctor may insert a special tool to collect a small tissue sample for lab testing (biopsy.)

The entire upper endoscopy procedure usually takes just 15-30 minutes.

When might I need an upper endoscopy?

You could need an upper endoscopy if you have ongoing digestive symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Frequent belching
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Anemia

Upper endoscopy is a very accurate way to detect gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophageal strictures (narrowing), Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and other serious conditions in your upper digestive tract. However, to examine the nearby organs you may also need an X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound.

How do I prepare for my upper endoscopy?

Before your upper endoscopy, GastroCare LI helps you prepare for the procedure with a list of directions. That typically includes arranging transportation ahead of time (you can’t drive home due to sedation) and fasting for eight hours before your procedure (most procedures are early in the morning.)

Also, be sure to wear comfortable clothing that’s easy to take on and off, since you’ll change into a gown for the procedure.

After your upper endoscopy, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with your GastroCare LI doctor so they can explain your test results and discuss treatment options.

If you’re struggling with digestive issues, an upper endoscopy is a comfortable and quick procedure that can give you the answers you need to feel better. Call GastroCare LI or click on the online appointment tool to schedule your exam today.