Upper Endoscopy

Upper Endoscopy services offered in Midlothian, N. Chesterfield, Short Pump, Henrico, Richmond and Mechanicsville, VA

An upper endoscopy procedure uses a tiny camera that enables your doctor to see the tissues in your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. At their eight offices in Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, and Mechanicsville, Virginia, the Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team uses upper endoscopy to diagnose and treat conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastritis, and peptic ulcers. To find out how an upper endoscopy could help with your gastrointestinal problems, call Richmond Gastroenterology Associates today or book an appointment online.

Upper Endoscopy Q & A

What is an upper endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) is a procedure the Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team uses to examine the tissues lining your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The upper GI tract consists of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the upper part of your small intestine). To see inside these areas, your provider inserts an endoscope (a flexible tube fitted with a light and camera).

By viewing the images the endoscope sends back, your provider can assess the condition of the tissues and locate any abnormalities.

Why might I need an upper endoscopy?

The Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team might recommend an upper endoscopy if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bleeding in the upper GI tract

These symptoms could be due to several gastrointestinal disorders, including peptic ulcers, gastritis, polyps, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Barrett’s esophagus. Cancer is also a possibility.

What does having an upper endoscopy involve?

Your stomach must be empty before an upper endoscopy, so you must stop eating and drinking beforehand (usually for about eight hours). The Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team gives you specific instructions on preparing for your upper endoscopy when they make your appointment.

To ensure you stay relaxed, you have IV (intravenous) sedation through a vein in your arm. Your provider numbs your throat with a local anesthetic spray, so you won’t feel any pain when they insert the endoscope.

Your provider guides the endoscope down your esophagus, into your stomach, and along the first part of the small intestine. They analyze the images the endoscope’s camera sends back on a monitor. If they see anything unusual, like areas of inflamed tissue, they take a sample (biopsy) for lab examination.

The Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team can sometimes treat problems during your upper endoscopy using special instruments that fit down the endoscope. For example, they can remove polyps, heat ulcers to stop them from bleeding, and stretch narrowed areas.

What happens after an upper endoscopy?

When the procedure is complete, your provider carefully extracts the endoscope, and you go to the recovery area while the sedative wears off. Most patients return home the same day as their upper endoscopy.

You might have a sore throat after your procedure, but this soon wears off. Your doctor will talk to you about what they found and what needs to happen next. They also contact you to discuss the results of any biopsy.

To find out more about having an upper endoscopy, call Richmond Gastroenterology Associates today or book an appointment online.