The term "endoscopy" refers to a special
technique for looking at the upper gastro-intestinal (GI) tract (the
digestive system), that includes the esophagus, the stomach, and the
duodenum. The esophagus carries food from the mouth for digestion in the
stomach and small intestine.
Upper GI endoscopy is a procedure
performed by a gastroenterologist, or general surgeon who uses the
endoscope to diagnose and, in some cases, treat problems of the upper
The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube
with a tiny video camera and light at the end. By adjusting the various
controls on the endoscope, the Doctor can safely guide the instrument to
carefully examine the inside lining of the upper digestive system.
high-quality picture from the endoscope is shown on a TV monitor; it
gives a clear, detailed view. In many cases, upper GI endoscopy is a
more precise examination than X-ray studies.
Upper GI endoscopy
can be helpful in the evaluation or diagnosis of various problems,
including difficult or painful swallowing, pain in the stomach or
abdomen, bleeding, ulcers and tumors. Tiny instruments can be passed
through an opening in the endoscope to obtain tissue samples, coagulate
(stop) bleeding sites, dilate or stretch a narrowed area, or perform