Gastroscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD are all different names for upper endoscopy. It is a procedure which allows the surgeons and the doctors to examine the inner linings of oesophagus, stomach and the first part of intestine for any abnormalities. It is performed to evaluate and diagnose various health conditions of the digestive tract.
What is upper endoscopy?
The endoscope is a thin flexible tube with the diameter about the size of our finger. A small light camera is attached to its end which allows the surgeons to have a look at the upper GI tract. It is usually an outpatient procedure which in most cases is performed in the emergency rooms to evaluate the cause of abdominal pain or bleeding in the upper digestive tract. However, this is not the end of it. The surgeons can use many surgical instruments with upper endoscopy to treat various abnormalities. This way the patient is treated without having to go through much trouble or discomfort of any sort.
Some of the many indications the upper endoscopy has proved to be helpful in are
- Abdominal pain
- Swallowing difficulties
- Chest pain
- Detection of inflammation
- Detecting ulcers and tumours
Upper endoscopy has been used for a lot of other reasons as well, and it helps the surgeons get the most accurate of information in the least amount of time.
Upper endoscopy is not only accurate but also helpful in providing the most detailed information in the least amount of time. It can help the surgeons differentiate between cancerous and noncancerous growths very easily. If need be, special instruments can be used to assist the procedures so that tissue samples can be extracted out and sent to the laboratories for biopsy purposes. Upper endoscopy can also be used to dilate the narrowed passages in the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum. Surgeons have also been able only to use upper endoscopy to identify the source of bleeding but also treat it with least amount of invasion.
It may be helpful and a remarkable procedure which is saving lives day in and out in various hospitals all over the world but it has its own complications. These complications are rare but are there as a possibility nevertheless.
- Bleeding which is common in this process can be a complication when a biopsy is performed with this procedure. In such case, excessive bleeding may occur and might require blood transfusion too.
- The chances of infections are low, but they can increase if multiple procedures are carried alongside upper endoscopy.
- Tear in the GI tract which can require a stay in the hospital or a follow-up surgery.
Most of these complications can be avoided if one makes sure that the person performing the procedure is an expert who has all the knowledge and practice needed to handle all sorts of complications that might arise out of it. Upper endoscopy doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can save a lot of time and pain for the patients in the longer run.