What is an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy is a medical procedure to visually examine the esophagus, the stomach and part of the duodenum. During the procedure, a physician uses an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter) to examine the inside of the upper digestive system. The endoscope lets the doctor observe and take pictures of the lining of the upper digestive system.

Upper endoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine). Your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope, which has its own lens and light source, and will view the images on a video monitor.

Upper endoscopy helps your doctor evaluate symptoms of upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. It's the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. It is also more accurate than X-ray films for detecting inflammation, ulcers and tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.

This procedure allows your physician to examine the inside of the esophagus, stomach or duodenum (the first section of the small intestine).

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