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Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Results

An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look at the interior lining of your esophagus, your stomach, and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum) through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope.

Your doctor may be able to talk to you about some of the findings with you immediately after your upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. But the medicines given to help relax you may impair your memory, so your doctor may wait until they wear off completely. Other results are usually available in 2 to 4 days. Tests for certain infections may take several weeks.

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
Normal:

The esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine (duodenum) look normal.

Abnormal:

Inflammation or irritation is found in the esophagus (esophagitis), stomach (gastritis), or small intestine.

Bleeding, an ulcer, a tumor, a tear, or dilated veins (esophageal varices) are found in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.

A hiatal hernia is found.

A too-narrow (stricture) section is found in the esophagus.

A foreign object is found in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.

A biopsy sample may be taken to:

Many conditions can change the results of an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results that may be related to your symptoms and past health.

What Affects the Test

You may not be able to have the test or the results may not be helpful if you just had another test that uses barium contrast material. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy should not be done less than 2 days after you have an upper gastrointestinal (GI) series so your doctor can see your stomach and small intestine.

What To Think About

  • An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is the best way to examine your esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine (duodenum). Your doctor can take a tissue sample to test for Helicobacter pylori infection, which is believed to be the main cause of stomach or duodenal ulcers. To learn more, see the topic Helicobacter Pylori Tests.
  • Cancer can be identified or ruled out using endoscopy.
  • Endoscopy may be done after an upper gastrointestinal series test identifies a problem. To learn more, see the topic Upper Gastrointestinal Series.
  • Endoscopy can be safely performed on small children.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) is a test of the ducts that drain the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. It can be done to find the cause of jaundice if your doctor thinks you may have blockage of the bile or pancreatic ducts and when other tests (such as ultrasound, liver scan, and X-ray studies) are not clear. To learn more, see the topic Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP).

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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