Why Would I Need an Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is normally part of a routine, comprehensive evaluation of your digestive system. Your doctor might suggest this minimally invasive, virtually painless procedure for a variety of reasons:

  • To check symptoms you have described that are most likely digestion-related
  • To help your doctor evaluate the severity of a digestive condition
  • To check the status of an existing digestive disorder
  • To target a specific location to remove some cells for laboratory examination, a procedure known as a "biopsy"
  • To screen for cancer in patients who may be at high risk
  • To perform a specific therapy, such as removing polyps or a foreign body, or to stop bleeding

With this procedure, you can be assured of the accuracy of the diagnosis. An endoscopy—upper or lower—is more accurate than an X-ray for detecting inflammation, ulcers, or small tumors of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, or lower GI tract.

Endoscopy is also excellent for finding the causes of gastrointestinal bleeding. If you have had major surgery, it can be used to evaluate the inside of your esophagus or stomach to search for signs of bleeding.

In the hands of the nationally recognized endoscopists practicing at Mount Sinai, endoscopy can reveal inflammation, ulcers, bleeding, and the presence of polyps as well as precancerous growths and cancerous tissue that may exist anywhere along the lining of your digestive tract.