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Upper GI Endoscopy For Pain in Abdomen

Commonly called belly, the abdomen includes the stomach, kidney, liver, pancreas, spleen, gall bladder, small & large intestine, aorta & inferior vena cava. Almost everyone experiences some kind of abdominal pain during their life. Sometimes the pain may disappear with time whereas in other cases it may persist. The pain can be due to several reasons. Diagnosis of abdominal pain is important due to the fact that this pain can also be caused due to issues external to the abdomen like pneumonias, heart attacks etc. For determining the cause for such a pain a comprehensive physical exam is conducted. This, in most cases will be followed by various tests, which are of several kinds. These include imaging tests like ultrasound, CT scan, X-ray, barium swallows (enema), endoscopy etc.

Ultrasound scan: In this type of scan, sound waves of ultrahigh frequency are passed through the region using a transducer. The information of the echo waves are collected and displayed in the computer screen. Ultrasound can take reliable images of soft tissue portions like gallbladder, pancreas, liver etc.

Certain problems can be used by detect the following abdominal problems:

  • Abnormal abdominal growths or cysts.
  • Abnormal spleen enlargement.
  • Fatty liver/Liver cancer.
  • Gallstones.

During the test, a water soluble gel is applied to the abdomen of the patient lying on the examination table. A device which resembles a wand is gently moved through the area. The patient is requested to hold the breadth for a brief time. The test consumes only some minutes. The test results are interpreted by the radiologist.

CT scan: CT is the short form of Computerized Tomography. Tomograph is machine that is employed for making X-rays through a particular plain in the body. A CT scan of the abdomen can use used to detect abscesses, cysts, infection, aneurysm, nymph nodes that are enlarged, tumors etc.

Endoscopy: This non-surgical procedure is employed for the examination of the digestive tract. The endoscope can be passed through the mouth or through the rectum. In the former case, the endoscope is used to diagnose the esophagus, stomach & the small intestine. The endoscope, in the latter case, detects the large intestine & rectum. Other kinds of endoscopic techniques like endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography (ERCP) are also available to image specific portions. ERCP is used to take images of pancreas, gallbladder & other structures. Preparations for endoscopy include gut preparation & sedation. Before performing endoscopy especially through colon, fasting for almost 7 hours is necessary. This is to ensure that the colon is clear of fecal matter. Laxatives may also be given. Another preparative method is the administration of sedatives. This shall increase the comfort level of those undergoing this examination.

Since abdominal pain depends upon the underlying cause, it is necessary to precisely interpret the diagnosis results to clearly understand the reason.