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.