Patients who have GERD symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, or trouble swallowing often try to ignore their condition or treat it with over-the-counter remedies. But determining the extent of the disease and deciding on the best treatment requires an upper endoscopy. Los Angeles GI specialist Dr. Berookim recommends this procedure as the most accurate way to evaluate and diagnose a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus that can be caused by chronic GERD. This procedure can also be used to check the esophagus for cancer, erosion, inflammation, and other damage from acid reflux.
What Is an Upper Endoscopy?
This procedure is a visual examination of the lining of the esophagus using a narrow, flexible tube equipped with a light and a camera. If abnormal tissue is found, a small biopsy tool is inserted through the endoscope to take a sample of the cells for microscopic examination. Patients with chronic GERD (for at least five years) should be screened for Barrett’s esophagus. This is the best way to detect the condition before it can progress into cancer of the esophagus.
EGD Procedure Overview
EGD diagnosis Los Angeles is a very common procedure with minimal risk of complications. You will need to fast for eight hours prior to your procedure. Your upper endoscopy is performed at the state-of-the art La Peer Surgical Center in Los Angeles. Gastroenterologist Dr. Berookim will ensure you are completely comfortable during this 5-10 minute EGD diagnosis Los Angeles procedure with the use of IV sedation. A mouth guard is inserted to protect your teeth and to prevent you from accidentally biting down during the procedure.
The endoscope is gently passed through your mouth and slowly advanced to the stomach and the first portion of the small intestine (duodenum) providing a complete view of all areas of your esophageal and stomach lining. Tissue sampling can be performed if needed, and the scope is then gently withdrawn.
You will rest for a short period to make sure you are fine before going home. You will need a ride home since you should not drive for 24 hours after receiving sedation. Dr. Berookim will share his preliminary observations with you immediately after the procedure. He will explain the results of any biopsy after examination of the sample in the lab.
What If My EGD Diagnosis Los Angeles Shows Barrett’s Esophagus?
Reducing the amount of acid reflux is one of the first steps in treatment to limit further tissue changes. Dr. Berookim specializes in helping patients manage their GERD symptoms over the long term. Depending on the extent of the tissue changes, you may need to have your condition monitored or move forward with removal of the abnormal tissue. Fortunately, this treatment is now simple and nonsurgical. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is used to destroy the precancerous cells. You will need to have regular follow up screening in case the problem recurs.
Do you have any questions about EGD diagnosis Los Angeles or are you worried about Barrett’s esophagus related to GERD? Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and other LA area patients should call 310.271.1122 to schedule a consultation.