An upper endoscopy assesses the inside of the body with cameras. Specifically to inspect the lining of your oesophagus, stomach and around the first bend of your small intestine.
The technology and equipment used to perform endoscopy have improved considerably in the last 20 years.
The tubes and cameras are now flexible and much thinner than the older rigid cameras of the past. This means they are much more comfortable for the patient and can often be performed under local anaesthetic spray.
The procedure is usually performed in an endoscopy suite with the help of specially trained nurses. The patient lies on their left hand side in the comfortable position and a mouth guard is used to protect the teeth… And the expensive endoscope.
Why might you have an upper endoscopy?
There are several reasons why you might need to have an endoscopy. These include investigating symptoms such as swallowing problems (dysphagia), indigestion, acid reflux, weight loss, low blood counts (anaemia) or vomiting blood.
Sedation can be used for patients who are nervous about the procedure and need to relax, or for patients who are predicted to have a longer or more difficult procedure.