There are many common procedures used to evaluate the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract of patients with suspected GI disorders. These procedures include:
Upper GI Endoscopy
If you're experiencing symptoms like difficulty swallowing, pain when eating, or chest pain, your doctor may recommend an upper GI endoscopy. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure, performed under sedation, allows your doctor to take a closer look at the inside of your esophagus, stomach, and the beginning of the small intestine.
During this procedure, a small, flexible camera is inserted through the mouth and into the upper GI tract. This allows your doctor to get a clear view of the inside of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Your doctor can also take a tissue sample (biopsy) during the endoscopy, as well as perform various treatments, including those to treat GI bleeding.
Upper GI endoscopies are performed for a variety of reasons, including:
- To investigate the cause of abdominal pain
- To diagnose gastrointestinal bleeding
- To evaluate symptoms like heartburn, nausea, and vomiting
- To screen for esophageal cancer
Patients remain sedated during the procedure, which takes about 30 minutes. Recovery from sedation can take up to an hour. After the procedure, you will be monitored for any adverse reactions to the sedation. Once you are cleared to go home, you will need someone to drive you, as the effects of the sedation can last for several hours.
It is important to follow your doctor's instructions for preparing for the procedure. This will typically involve fasting for several hours before the procedure and avoiding alcohol for 24 hours afterward. You can expect some mild discomfort, like bloating and flatulence, for a short time after the procedure.
The staff at Saddleback Medical Group Gastroenterology has prepared the following instructions to help you prepare for your upper GI endoscopy:
Bravo pH Capsule Study
This diagnostic procedure is used to evaluate the stomach's acidity. This study can provide important information about how much and how often you experience acid reflux – and can help confirm or rule out a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) diagnosis.
A Bravo pH capsule is a small, oblong device, about the size of a vitamin pill, that measures the pH levels in your esophagus over a 24- to 48-hour period. The capsule is placed in the esophagus during an upper GI endoscopy. Several days after the study, the capsule naturally and harmlessly detaches from the esophageal lining, falls into the digestive tract, and is eliminated from the body in a bowel movement.
The staff at Saddleback Medical Group Gastroenterology has prepared the following instructions to help you prepare for your Bravo pH capsule study:
Upper GI Procedures in Laguna Hills, CA
If you or your doctor suspect a problem with your upper digestive tract – or if you’re experiencing symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, heartburn, or acid reflux – you may require a specific type of upper GI procedure, such as an endoscopy or a Bravo pH capsule study.
The GI specialists at Saddleback Medical Group Gastroenterology in Laguna Hills, California, have the precise type of expertise you’re looking for. Call us at (949) 770-7163 to find out more or to make an appointment. You can also request a consult now. Thank you for choosing us for your GI care.