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General Surgery

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to diagnose diseases of the digestive tract. A long flexible optic fiber with a camera and a light source at the tip is inserted through the mouth. This transmits images to a television monitor which helps the gastroenterologist to view the digestive tract from inside.

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, and bleeding, ulcers, and tumours.

Upper GI endoscopy is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. By adjusting the various controls on the endoscope, the endoscopist can safely guide the instrument to carefully examine the inside lining of the upper digestive system.
The 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.

Benefits

An upper GI endoscopy is both diagnostic and therapeutic. This means the test enables a diagnosis to be made upon which specific treatment can be given. If a bleeding site is identified, treatment can stop the bleeding, or if a polyp is found, it can be removed without a major operation. Other treatments can be given through the endoscope when necessary.

Therapeutic upper G.I. Endoscopy:

  • Sclerotherapy for varices
  • Dilatation of strictures
  • Pneumatic dilatation of achalasia
  • Removal and surveillance of gastric polyps
  • Removal of foreign bodies

Indications

  • Difficulty or pain on swallowing
  • G.I. bleeding- hematemesis, melena, or iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Troublesome heartburn
  • Persistent ulcer-like pain
  • Dyspepsia
    • With anorexia or weight loss
    • Taking aspirin or NSAIDs
    • With a history of gastric ulcer
  • Persistent nausea, vomiting, or symptoms suggestive of pyloric obstruction
  • Gastric ulcer demonstrated by barium meal
  • Duodenal biopsy for suspected malabsorption