An upper endoscopy is a visual examination of the upper GI tract using an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and video camera at the tip. The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of your small intestine). The procedure is also referred to as an EsophagoGastroDuodenoscopy (EGD). During the procedure, your gastroenterologist may also biopsy tissue, remove polyps and dilate (stretch) areas of narrowing in your esophagus.
An EGD can help determine the cause of abdominal pain, unexplained anemia, nausea and vomiting, upper GI tract bleeding, swallowing difficulties and heartburn. If a problem is identified, in some cases, treatment may be administered to correct the problem at the time of the procedure. If a bleeding site is identified, treatment can stop the bleeding. If you are having difficulty swallowing and a narrowing in your esophagus is identified, a dilation may be performed to stretch that area of narrowing.
You will be given instructions to ensure your stomach is empty for the exam and prior to the procedure, an intravenous line will be started in your arm to administer sedation medications. The endoscope is passed through the mouth, and gently guided through the esophagus, stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. The exam generally takes 15- 30 minutes.
Upper Endoscopy with RFA
RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA) is an endoscopic therapy used to treat Barrett’s Esophagus with dysplasia. Heat energy is used to eradicate the diseased tissue. This may be done during one or multiple visits depending on the length and extent of the Barrett’s tissue. Once the layer of Barrett’s tissue is burned off, healthy tissue can re-grow in its place. Patients will still need to be monitored at regular intervals to ensure the Barrett’s tissue has not returned. Upper endoscopy with RFA is also used to treat another condition associated with GI bleeding, “Watermelon Stomach” or GAVE (Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia)