Diagnosing upper gastrointestinal problems once required exploratory surgery, but thanks to advances in medical technology, getting an up-close look at your gastrointestinal tract only requires a miniature camera and a thin scope. Dr. Saeed Ahmed, your Wesley Chapel, FL gastroenterologist, explains why you may need an endoscopy.
When is an endoscopy recommended?
Your gastroenterologist may suggest an endoscopy if you suffer from:
How do endoscopies work?
During an endoscopy, your Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist passes a lighted scope that contains a tiny camera at the end into your throat. The camera transmits images of your stomach, esophagus and the upper section of your small intestine to a computer monitor. With the aid of the monitor, your doctor examines every inch of your upper gastrointestinal tract to determine for the cause of your symptoms. Although cancer is certainly a possibility, gastrointestinal problems occur more often due to GERD, gastritis, ulcers, esophagitis or other less serious conditions.
What happens during an endoscopy?
You will be asked to fast for eight hours before your endoscopy appointment. Because your comfort is a priority for your doctor, you'll be given a sedative or receive anesthesia before the procedure begins. Once the sedative or anesthesia takes effect, your doctor will insert the scope. In addition to viewing your gastrointestinal tract, your gastroenterologist can also obtain tissue samples for biopsies and treat problems. For example, if he notices bleeding, he can cauterize the area to stop the bleeding.
What is endoscopy recovery like?
Endoscopies usually take no longer than 30 minutes, but you may remain in the facility for up to an hour in order to ensure that you have recovered from the effects of the sedative or anesthetic. Your doctor will discuss the results of the procedure with you, although you won't receive the results of biopsies for about a week. You may notice that your throat is a little sore after you have an endoscopy or that you feel a little bloated. These symptoms are usually minor and will soon subside.
Are you concerned about stomach pain or other gastrointestinal problems? Call Dr. Ahmed, your Wesley Chapel, FL gastroenterologist, at (813) 994-4800 to schedule an appointment to determine if you could benefit from an endoscopy.