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Oesophagoscopy

Oesophagoscopy test at Karnataka ENT Hospiatal and Research Center(R)


Karnataka ENT Hospital & Research Center(R), has facilities for both adult and paediatric, rigid and flexible, diagnostic and therapeutic Oesophagoscopy. This examination of the oesophagus will help to find out if any problems in the oesophagus. We may also be able to treat the problem through the scope. The examination may tell us that all is well with your oesophagus.

The main aim of the Diagnostic Oesophagoscopy is to examine the inside of the oesophagus. In this procedure a special telescope is passed down the back of the throat into the oesophagus. This instrument is called an oesophagoscope. Some scopes are rigid metal tubes and others are flexible fiber-optic scopes. With a flexible scope, the surgeon can usually examine the back of the throat and the inside of the stomach, as well as the oesophagus.

The surgeon can use the scope to inspect all the different parts in detail. If there is anything blocking the oesophagus, the surgeon can usually remove the blockage using fine grasping instruments passed down the scope.

The surgeon can remove small pieces of any diseased lining of the oesophagus by passing other instruments down the scope. The specimens are called biopsies. They are sent to the laboratory for tests. Biopsies are very small and the lining of the oesophagus heals quickly without stitches.

If there is a narrowing (structure) in the oesophagus, the surgeon may be able to stretch it open by passing special balloons or stretching instruments, called bougies, down the scope. This is called oesophageal dilatation. A general anaesthetic will be used and the patient will be completely asleep while this operation is being done.

What is Oesophagus?
The oesophagus is the muscular tube that carries food and drink from the back of the throat down to the stomach. The oesophagus is also called the gullet. It passes behind the voice box. It has a delicate lining rather like skin, called mucous membrane. Secretions from the mucous membrane lubricate food as it passes from the mouth to the stomach.

There is a weak valve at the lower end of the oesophagus, where it enters the stomach. This valve is called the cardiac sphincter. The cardiac sphincter prevents food, drink and stomach juices from flowing back up into the oesophagus, unless you vomit. The oesophagus is part of the digestive system, called the gastrointestinal tract.

What problems can occur in Oesophagus?

There may be something blocking the oesophagus, such as food or a swallowed coin. There may be a narrowing (stricture), a thickening of the wall of the oesophagus or something pressing on the oesophagus from inside the chest. Sometimes the lining of the oesophagus becomes inflamed and sensitive. This may be because the cardiac sphincter is letting irritating stomach juices leak up into the oesophagus. Rarely, the cardiac sphincter muscle is too weak or overactive so it does not work properly. A pouch (diverticulum) in the wall of the oesophagus may be causing the problem.

The main aim of this examination is to identify the problem with your oesophagus. It would not be safe to start treatment with tablets and medicines if the cause of your problem is not clear.

If there is a serious problem in your oesophagus, you may miss out on important treatment by just waiting and seeing. If you cannot swallow, you will rapidly become short of food and liquids. You may get an overspill of liquid from the oesophagus into the lungs, which can be very dangerous.

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