What is an upper endoscopy?
An upper endoscopy is a test that allows your child’s doctor to look directly in the upper gastrointestinal tract which includes the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. This is accomplished by using a soft flexible tube with a camera on the end.
Some common reasons why this may be recommended include:
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting blood or blood in bowel movements
- Chest pain
When is an upper endoscopy performed?
- Detect irritation
- Identify a site of bleeding
- Remove swallowed foreign bodies such as coins and pins
- Obtain biopsy samples when food allergy or other damage is suspected
Will my child be asleep or feel any discomfort during the procedure?
Your child should not feel any discomfort during the procedure. He/she will be given medication by vein (intravenous) to help him/her sleep through the procedure. Although they will be completely unaware and asleep during the procedure, general anesthesia is generally not necessary.
What should I expect before and after the procedure?
Starting on midnight the night before the procedure, it is important that your child not drink or eat anything. This can cause problems with the sleep medication that is administered to your child before the test.
The endoscopy usually takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. After the test is complete, your doctor will speak with you to let you know if there were any visible abnormalities during the test. Usually, complaints of sore throat or neck
pain are mild and resolve quickly. Your child can return to school the next day. The biopsy samples that are taken during the procedure are
a very important part of the results and usually take approximately one week to return. Dr. Erhart will see your child in follow-up the following week. At the time of the follow-up visit, she will review the results and discuss a treatment plan.
Center for Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2011