Bay Area Endoscopy: Aiding in Detection, Prevention, and Diagnosis


An upper endoscopy is an excellent tool specialists use in order to determine a wide variety of current and potential health concerns in a person’s upper gastrointestinal tract. The upper GI tract includes a person’s throat, esophagus, stomach, and the start of the small intestine; also known as the duodenum. Symptoms that would encourage a specialist to use an endoscopy for diagnosis tend to include nausea, abdominal pain, rapid weight loss, difficulty swallowing, and GI bleeding, in addition to others. ID-10043598

The instrument used in an endoscopy is an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube that has a camera at its end with a light. A patient undergoing an endoscopy is sedated during the procedure in which the endoscope is inserted into his or her mouth and then continues down into their duodenum. While this occurs, the specialist is able to view the endoscope’s progress and what the camera can see as these images are projected onto a screen. During an endoscopy, a specialist can detect: ulcers, any abnormal growths that may have formed or are currently developing, inflammation, bowel obstruction, precancerous symptoms, and hiatal hernias. It can also be used to remove objects that may be stuck in its path, such as food.

Before an endoscopy can be performed, the GI tract must be empty, which means that patients cannot eat or drink for 4 to 8 hours before the procedure takes place. After an endoscopy, patients can expect to feel relatively normal. Although sometimes a sore throat, bloating or some nausea can occur. These are normal reactions to the procedure and should taper off and normal routines can be re-established shortly. It’s important to discuss the specifics about post-procedure activities with your specialist.

Endoscopies are a safe, effective procedure for aiding in the detection of GI conditions and diagnosis of those symptoms listed above. With the use of sedation, the procedure is very comfortable for most patients. Endoscopies are not performed on-site at San Francisco Gastroenterology; fortunately, we are affiliated with three endoscopy centers in San Francisco that are able to perform this procedure. If you are experiencing symptoms of a GI issue, please contact a specialist and we will be able to decide which center best fits your individual diagnostic needs.

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