OEBB

When is it needed?

Whether to have an endoscopy should be a cooperative decision made by you, your family, and your family physician. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist for a thorough evaluation to determine if you could benefit from this procedure.

Upper endoscopy can be used to determine the cause of:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Gastric reflux
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Bleeding in the upper GI tract

Upper endoscopy can detect:

  • Ulcers
  • Abnormal growths
  • Precancerous conditions
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Inflammation
  • Hiatal hernia

Upper endoscopy can be used to remove stuck objects, including food. It also can be used to biopsy tissue in the upper GI tract. During a biopsy, a small piece of tissue is removed for later examination with a microscope. It is more accurate than X-rays for detecting abnormal growths, such as cancer, and for examining the inside of the upper digestive system.

You have options.  Evidence suggests that, depending on your condition or injury, alternative treatments such as medication, weight loss, and modified physical activity, can work just as well as surgery.  See Alternative Treatments for more information.

Resources

Please visit these resources for more information:

Upper Endoscopy, 2012,  Mayo Clinic.

Digestive Problems and Upper Endoscopy, 2010, WebMD.

Upper GI Endoscopy.  NIH Publication No. 09–4333, May 2009, National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).

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