What is an upper GI endoscopy?
An upper gastrointestinal (or GI) endoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your child's esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. The esophagus is the tube that carries food to the stomach.
The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube that bends. It is called an endoscope, or scope. The scope is a flexible video camera. The doctor looks at a monitor (like a TV set or a computer screen) as he or she moves the scope.
The doctor puts the tip of the scope in your child's mouth and gently moves it down the throat. A doctor may do this procedure to look for the cause of belly pain or bleeding. It also can be used to look for signs of acid backing up into the esophagus. This is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
The doctor can use the scope to take a sample of tissue for study (a biopsy). The doctor also can use the scope to take out growths or stop bleeding.
You can take your child home after your doctor checks to make sure your child is not having any problems.
Your child may stay overnight if your doctor did a biopsy or treatment during the test.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
Procedures can be stressful for both your child and you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
- Talk to your child about the procedure. Tell your child that the endoscopy will help find what's causing problems in your child's belly. Hospitals know how to take care of children. The staff will do all they can to make it easier for your child.
- Plan for your child's recovery time. He or she may need more of your time right after the procedure, both for care and for comfort.
- Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- Tell the doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products your child takes. Some may increase the risk of problems during the procedure. Your doctor will tell you if your child should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
The day before the procedure
- A nurse may call you (or you may need to call the hospital). This is to confirm the time and date of your child's procedure and answer any questions.
- Remember to follow your doctor's instructions about your child taking or stopping medicines before the procedure. This includes over-the-counter medicines.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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