An endoscopy is a common non-surgical procedure in which a flexible tube with an attached light and camera is passed into a person’s digestive tract. This tube is called an endoscope, hence the term endoscopy.
When GERD is suspected in a patient, a gastroenterologist will typically perform an upper endoscopy. During this procedure, the endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat into the esophagus and stomach. The light and camera on the endoscope broadcast the images of your digestive tract onto a color monitor so the physician can view them in real time. This allows for the doctor to see any damage to the esophagus up close and assess the severity of the damage, as well as what may have caused it, quickly and easily.
What to Expect
Before the procedure, you will probably be asked to abstain from food or liquid consumption of any kind for six or more hours. You should also inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, so that he/she can tell you if they should be stopped before the procedure.
During the procedure, you will be administered sedatives, so you will not feel anything or even remember the test. An upper endoscopy typically takes only 10 to 15 minutes, and is performed in a hospital or outpatient center. It is a painless and non-surgical procedure.
After the procedure, you will most likely be groggy from the sedatives, so doctors often recommend arranging a ride home beforehand. You may have a sore throat for a day or to following the procedure, but that is totally normal. Sometimes, the results from the test will be available right afterwards, and other times you may need to wait a few days to hear back from the doctor.
If you suffer from the symptoms of GERD in the Tampa Bay area, you can visit the Tampa Bay Reflux Center. The specialists and experts there can help to diagnose you and a find a treatment that works for your individual case.