What Tests can be Utilized to Diagnose and Treat Esophageal Disorders?
Should you or a loved one have an issue with your esophagus, it's important to have it evaluated so that the right diagnosis and treatment can be carried out. You might be wondering, what does that involve? At GI Alliance, our digestive health physicians offer a variety of tests to evaluate esophageal conditions that might be interfering with your health. Don’t let an esophageal problem continue to negatively affect your quality of life. For further details about the types of testing procedures and treatments for esophageal conditions, please request a visit with one of our digestive health providers. Keep reading to explore how the various tests work.
How does an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) work?
An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is an endoscopic procedure that is carried out to assess your upper gastrointestinal tract. Also called an upper endoscopy exam, it utilizes a miniaturized camera fitted on the end of the endoscope, or tube.
During the procedure, the tube is gently positioned down through the throat to help our physicians visualize your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The camera transmits the pictures that are captured to a computer screen so that our GI doctor can analyze them. Once the pictures are evaluated, our team of GI providers can determine a diagnosis and discuss the appropriate treatment protocol right for your health. An EGD test might be recommended if you’ve noticed the following symptoms:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent acid reflux
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Functional indigestion (dyspepsia)
- Non-cardiac chest pain
- Vomiting blood
- Recurrent nausea or vomiting
The experienced team at GI Alliance can offer more information about this procedure and whether it can help you.
How does a CT scan detect and address esophageal disorders?
A diagnostic computed tomography or CT imaging approach can be an extremely useful tool for your digestive health specialist when it pertains to esophageal conditions. These images serve as the primary step when assessing the esophagus. As radiographic procedures, CTs generate a clear image of the area in question. These pictures are then passed on to your practitioner, who evaluates them and can explain the approach to follow to help address your esophageal disorder.
Our gastroenterology specialists may order CT scans to provide an accurate diagnosis of esophageal problems. These scans can provide help with the following:
- Determining if esophageal cancer has metastasized
- Detecting inflammation or irritation
- Identifying abnormalities in the esophagus
- Detecting esophageal cancer
When would a barium x-ray be needed?
Your gastroenterologist may order a barium x-ray if a radiographic assessment of your GI tract is warranted. These x-ray procedures are frequently used to identify abnormalities, such as tumors, polyps, ulcers, hernias, inflammatory conditions, and strictures.
The barium used in this procedure is a white, dry chalky powder-like consistency. This powder is mixed with liquid so that it can be ingested. Once ingested, the barium will cover the interior walls of the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel. The visibility of the barium enables our digestive health doctors to screen for abnormalities that might not be identified when normal x-rays are taken.
There are different kinds of barium x-ray procedures available. These tests include a barium enema to evaluate the lower digestive tract, a small-bowel follow-through, and a barium swallow to look at the upper GI tract. If you or a loved one believe you would be a candidate for an esophageal assessment, please request a consultation with our team without delay.
Get expert esophageal treatment
Should you require care for esophageal concerns, you can trust your health to the physicians at GI Alliance. We will work closely with you to develop a treatment strategy that targets your condition. Call us now to request a consultation with one of our esophageal specialists. We look forward to helping you find the care you deserve.