Acid reflux refers to regurgitation of the stomach contents back into the esophagus. The acidic stomach contents cause damage to the esophagus. Increase in the intensity of this regurgitation causes severe pain in the chest region. This is the reason why it is also termed as heart burn. It is highly essential to seek medical advice to avoid severity of the problem. Letís discuss the upper endoscopy, a test that is more commonly used to confirm the case of the acid reflux.
Upper endoscopy involves passing a device termed as endoscope into the esophagus and taking the sample tissue. Endoscope is a small device with a camera. This is a very expensive test but is renowned to give highly accurate results. With the help of the camera, the physician can also have a look at the condition of the inner tissues. Tissue samples that are taken are examined to identify the cause of damage. Depending on the results, the physician will decide if repetition of the test is required or not.
The test is very easy to perform. Before undergoing the test, the patient is recommended to evacuate his bowel completely and drink some amount of fluids.
Before inserting the endoscope, the physician will give a local anesthetic in the form of oral spray. An intravenous sedative injection is given as a safety measure to calm down the patient. Once the patient is calm, the device is inserted into the mouth down to the esophagus. Many patients may not even know that they are undergoing the test. However, some people feel that itís quite uncomfortable.
After keeping the endoscope at proper place, the physician can examine the internal tissues on the computer screen for the presence of any abnormalities. A small tissue sample is also collected to check for the presence of cancerous cells or viral infections. Infections are often seen in people with suppressed immune system.
This type of acid reflux test may be associated with certain type of complications. Generally, patients will experience mild pain after the test. Some may even have bleeding and in worst cases, infections are also possible. If the instrument is inserted with great pressure, it may result in internal tearing of the tissues. Some people may show adverse reactions to the anesthesia given before starting the procedure. To avoid such adverse reactions, physicians continuously monitor the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and oxygen levels.
However, in many cases the complications rarely develop. Except for a mild pain at the site of injection and little bleeding at the site where the tissue sample is taken, this procedure is highly safe if carried out correctly by the physician.
The test result will identify the presence of any cancerous tissues within the stomach region or the gastrointestinal wall. Hence, if this test is performed correctly and the results of tissue samples are interpreted exactly no other test is required to confirm the above identified results. This type of acid reflux test is a full proof test.