Upper GI Endoscopy is a procedure done by an Internal Medicine specialist to evaluate the upper intestinal tract. The procedure is done with your pet under general anesthesia after he/she has not eaten for 12 or more hours. Most endoscopic exams take about 25 minutes to one hour and it’s a low risk procedure, although anesthetic risk is always a consideration.
While anesthetized, a flexible digital endoscope is passed through your pet’s mouth into his/her stomach and upper small intestine. The Internal Medicine specialist is able to view an image of your pet’s gastrointestinal tract on a digital video screen. A biopsy instrument can be passed through the endoscope for the purpose of obtaining small samples of the gastrointestinal wall.
No stitches are required after the procedure and most patients are able to go home the same day. Sometimes medications are prescribed based on the initial visual impression of the gastrointestinal tract, but may be changed when biopsy results return in four to seven business days.
Endoscopy is recommended for patients with chronic vomiting or diarrhea, weight loss or poor appetite. It is sometimes used to remove foreign bodies (toys, coins, bones) from the stomach or to place a feeding tube in a patient that will not eat.