Upper Digestive Endoscopy (UDE)
Also known as oesophagogastroduodenoscopy, gastroscopy or even endoscopy, UDE is the endoscopic examination of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first segment of the small intestine). It is performed by the introduction of a flexible equipment into the patient’s mouth, with a video camera in its tip, which can be maneuvered and introduced under direct vision.
At COLONO, we use Fujinon’s equipment, the world’s leading manufacturer of endoscopes. All flexible equipment is reprocessed and decontaminated at high level (through ENDOLAV, an automatic reprocessing equipment), and then connected to a digital video processor that enables the generation of high quality images of the examined gastrointestinal segments. By this way, the segments examined can be visualized in detail.
Performing a good UDE requires a period of fasting and a special diet, for the proper emptying of the stomach.
On the day of your exam, you should arrive at the clinic after the indicated period of fasting. As the test is done with sedation – which can affect your ability to drive and cause you to feel sleepy even for hours afterwards – you should come to the clinic in the company of a person you trust, and who, preferably, drives. The average length of stay in the clinic is one hour, and may vary according to the recovery of each patient after the exam.
UDE is a very safe exam and can be performed without sedation, under general anesthesia, or under conscious sedation, the method we prefer. Your doctor will help guide you to the best option for your exam.
The discomfort experienced by the patient during the exam, caused by the passage of the device through the oropharynx (throat) is greatly minimized by sedation and completely eliminated when using general anesthesia, with the support of an anesthesiologist.
Many conditions lead to the indication of an UDE, such as symptoms of dyspepsia (maldigestion), abdominal pain, perceived or hidden bleeding in the stool, chest pain suggestive of reflux (heartburn), anemia without an apparent cause, weight loss without explanation (such as changes in diet or level of physical activity) or even personal or family history of stomach cancer. Your doctor will be able to identify any of these factors and decide with you about the necessity of the exam.
On the day of the scheduled exam, it is imperative that you fast for at least 8 hours for solids.
Up to 4 hours before the exam, you are free to have water and isotonic (coconut water, Gatorade or similar), as long as they are clear and have no residue. Do not have milk or antacids.
In the 4 hours prior to the examination absolute fasting is required, even for liquids.
It is important to bring recent exams to your consult (previous endoscopies, blood, heart and other tests).
Also bring the name and dosage of your usual medications and ask your doctor which medications you should take normally on the morning of the test.
AFTER THE EXAM
You will remain in the clinic’s rest room for about half an hour after the exam, until the main effects of the medications used for your sedation disappear.
- Bring someone to accompany you
- Do not drive or drink alcohol after the test until the next day
- Bring results of previous medical exams
- Do not carry metal objects on the day of the exam (jewelry, watches, wedding rings, etc.)