Endoscopy – Visually Examining your Upper GI

Hearing your primary care physician suggest that you see a specialist and undergo a procedure known as an endoscopy can be frightening, especially if you have no idea what an endoscopy is or why you might need one. An endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny camera at the end of a tube to visualize the interior of the esophagus and stomach. Endoscopy in Jacksonville is performed by gastroenterologists under sedation to diagnose a variety of upper gastrointestinal (GI) problems so that appropriate treatment can be provided.

When many of us hear the words “upper GI,” we tend to think of an x-ray that involves drinking a thick and unpleasant tasting liquid. However, direct visual examination of the upper GI system can provide a much more complete picture of what is going on within your system because your doctor is able to look right at it. An endoscope, the instrument used by the gastroenterologist in endoscopy, slides down the throat and into the stomach to visualize and diagnose ulcers, hiatal hernias, obstructions or inflammations in the upper GI tract.

Patients undergoing this procedure are heavily sedated, so they will feel no pain. This is an outpatient procedure with few risks or associated side effects, other than some discomfort from the gas used to inflate the stomach and a mildly sore throat from swallowing the tube. After the procedure, patients are typically monitored in a recovery setting, and they will need someone to drive them home and stay with them for the remainder of the day.

According to the National Institute of Health, endoscopy is the preferred diagnostic tool for most of the upper GI disorders. If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate the presence of an ulcer, a hiatal hernia, or another digestive system disorder, the first thing you should do is contact your regular physician. Together, you will discuss and evaluate your symptoms, and they may then refer you to a gastroenterologist for additional testing and evaluation. Gastroenterologists are physicians who specialize in the evaluation, testing, and diagnosis of all digestive system conditions.

Care and management of your health is a partnership between you and your physician. Understand your symptoms and what the next steps to recovering are, make your appointments for your endoscopy in Jacksonville and get relief soon.

Endoscopy procedures are available at Digestive Disease Consultants Clinic in the Jacksonville area.

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