Upper GI Endoscopy


Upper GI endoscopy is used for diagnostic purposes when patients have symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, acid reflux, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, bleeding, and iron deficiency anemia. More accurate than x-rays, it is the best test for examining the upper gastrointestinal tract – the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum, or small intestine.

During an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a flexible endoscope is introduced into the body through the mouth. During the procedure, you will be sedated to relax you and subdue your gag reflex. You will be unconscious during the procedure and not feel any discomfort.

The endoscope’s video chip transmits imaging to a monitor so your doctor can examine the lining of your upper gastrointestinal tract. Biopsies may be taken to diagnose or rule out infection, inflammation, cancer and pre-cancerous changes. Sometimes growths are removed or obliterated during the procedure. Narrowed areas (strictures) can be dilated and bleeding, controlled.

Preparing for Your Procedure

Preparation for upper G.I. endoscopy requires an overnight fast. Laxatives are not required. Complications from upper G.I. endoscopy are extremely uncommon, especially for procedures that do not involve the dilation of strictures, but include reactions to sedation, bleeding and perforation.

Upper G.I. endoscopies are performed at MarinHealth Medical Center or at the Endoscopy Center of Marin.