Which Tests can be Used to Identify and Treat Esophageal Disorders?


Tests for Esophageal Disorders

In the event you or a loved one experience a problem involving your esophagus, it's imperative to have it evaluated so that the appropriate diagnosis and treatment approach can be carried out. But what does that involve? At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, our GI providers carry out an array of tests to diagnose esophageal disorders that could be interfering with your health. Please do not let an esophageal problem continue to negatively affect your life. To hear more about the types of evaluations and treatments for esophageal disorders in New Orleans, LA, request a visit with one of our GI providers. Read below to learn more about how each test work.

When is an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) recommended?

Commonly referred to as an EGD, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy is a test that is conducted to assess the upper part of your digestive tract. Additionally called an upper endoscopy, it uses a small camera fitted on the end of the endoscope, or tube.

During the exam, the tube is passed down through your throat to help our doctors see the esophagus, stomach, and upper portion of the small intestine, or duodenum. The camera transfers the pictures that are taken to a computer screen so that your gastroenterologists can assess them. When the pictures have been reviewed, our team of GI providers can determine a diagnosis and explain the appropriate treatment plan necessary for your health. An esophagogastroduodenoscopy procedure might be advised if you’ve noticed the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn
  • Anemia
  • Persistent acid reflux
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Vomiting blood
  • Frequent nausea or vomiting
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Functional indigestion (dyspepsia)

The team at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates can provide more information about this approach and if it can be beneficial to your health.

How does a CT scan detect and treat esophageal disorders?

A CT or computed tomography scan is a helpful tool for your digestive health physician when it pertains to esophageal conditions. These images function as the first step in the process of examining the esophagus. As radiographic procedures, CT scans generate a clear image of the area in question. The images are then provided to your doctor, who examines them and can determine the next steps to take to help ease your esophageal disorder.

Our New Orleans, LA digestive health specialists may order a CT to accurately diagnose esophageal conditions. These x-ray images can assist with:

  • Detecting inflammation or irritation
  • Detecting esophageal cancer
  • Detecting abnormalities in the esophagus
  • Determining if esophageal cancer has metastasized

When would a barium x-ray be needed?

A barium x-ray is scheduled when a radiographic assessment of your digestive tract is warranted. These procedures are commonly used to detect concerns, like tumors, polyps, ulcers, hernias, inflammatory conditions, and strictures.

The barium utilized in the exam is a dry and white chalky powder-like consistency. This powder is mixed with liquid so that it can be swallowed. Following ingestion, it will spread over the inner lining of your esophagus, stomach, and small bowel. The clarity of the barium permits our gastroenterology specialists to evaluate for irregularities that might not be seen when conventional x-rays are captured.

There are different types of barium x-ray tests in use. These include a barium enema to look at the lower gastrointestinal tract, a small-bowel follow-through, and a barium swallow to assess the upper gastrointestinal tract. If you or someone you love needs an esophageal evaluation, request an appointment with us without delay.

Find advanced esophageal treatment in New Orleans, LA

When you need treatment for esophageal issues, you can rely on the experts at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates. Our staff will work closely with you to design a treatment plan that addresses your condition. Call us today to request a visit with one of our esophageal specialists in New Orleans, LA. We look forward to helping you get the care you deserve.