Test and Treatment: Upper Digestive Tract Endoscopy

This technique involves passing a flexible viewing tube through the mouth to examine the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) to look for disorders such as peptic ulcers. Diathermy (a heat treatment) or laser therapy can be performed or injections of drugs given to stop any bleeding.

During the procedure

You may have a local anaesthetic spray to numb the back of your throat and/or intravenous sedation. You then swallow the endoscope, through which the doctor views your upper digestive tract. The procedure usually takes about 15 minutes.

Route of endoscope


Gastric ulcer

In this view through an endoscope, a gastric ulcer is clearly visible in the mucous membrane lining the stomach. Close by is the opening from the stomach into the duodenum.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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