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 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.
Having a procedure can be stressful both for your child and for you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's procedure.
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Current as of: August 9, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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