Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy – Indications and Complications of Upper Endoscopy

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy

is a procedure in which a lighted, flexible endoscope is used to see the inside of the upper gastrointestinal tract that includes esophagus, stomach, duodenum and the first part of the small intestine. The procedure not only allows diagnosis of diseases of the tract but treatment as well.

In this article, we will discuss what are the conditions for which upper endoscopy is recommended and what are the complications of the procedure.

Conditions in which upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is indicated are:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Unexplained discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Extreme difficulty in swallowing
  • Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Abnormal findings on an upper gastrointestinal X-rays, CT scan or MRI
  • Removal of a foreign body or any objects that are struck in GI track, including food particles

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is used to treat conditions such as bleeding ulcers. It is also used to take biopsy of tissue in the upper tract, during which a small piece of tissue is taken out for examination with a microscope.

Complications of Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Upper endoscopy is quite a safe procedure and complications are very rare. According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, about less than


of endoscopies have complications. Some of the possible complications are:

  • Redness, swelling or pain during the procedure
  • Discharge of fluid or pus
  • Piercing or tearing of an organ
  • Infection or allergic reaction to the endoscope material
  • An allergy to the anesthesia or medications given during the procedure
  • Bleeding more than expected that can occur from biopsies or removal of polyps

Signs and symptoms

that manifest as complications are as follows:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • A firm, distended abdomen
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • A crunching feeling under the skin of the neck


1 response to Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy – Indications and Complications of Upper Endoscopy

  1. It is such a blessing that there is endoscopy equipment that helps to treat conditions such as GERD. Upper Gastrointestinal endoscopy seems to be minimally invasive as well. Thanks for the article! :)