Esophagoscopy is an endoscopic examination of the esophagus to diagnose esophagitis and other pathologies of the esophagus. This procedure belongs to a number of instrumental studies and is performed with an endoscope, which is inserted through the mouth into the patient's throat.

This technique allows specialists to conduct a visual examination of the mucous membrane of the inner wall of the esophagus and timely diagnose various pathologies.

Pros and cons

Unlike other studies, esophagoscopy allows for appropriate therapy during diagnosis, namely, removal of a foreign body and stop bleeding, as well as taking a biopsy material for histological examination.

Compared to similar diagnostic procedures, esophagoscopy is one of the most informative and safe, and is gaining popularity every day. Today, this procedure is carried out in polyclinics and outpatient clinics.

Like all endoscopic examinations, esophagoscopy has a number of contraindications. Research is not recommended during the acute period (first week) after a chemical burn; in acute infectious diseases; with acute processes in the digestive system and intestinal obstruction; severe cardiac and vascular pathologies; psychiatric diseases; craniocerebral injuries.

Diagnosis can be difficult in patients with curved spines and overweight.

After esophagoscopy, the development of complications is not excluded. Of the threatening complications, in rare cases, perforation of the esophageal wall, bleeding as a result of trauma from varicose veins of the esophagus, or from neoplasms of the esophagus is possible. It is possible to develop an anaphylactoid reaction to an anesthetic, which is used to treat the oropharynx before the introduction of the endoscope.

Who performs esophagoscopy?

If the patient has problems with the digestive system, then first you need to contact the local therapist. This specialist will perform a physical examination and recommend an examination, with an emphasis on GI examination. If, according to the results of a laboratory study, there are suspicions of diseases of the esophagus, then the patient is sent to a gastroenterologist. It is he who is engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract.

When is esophagoscopy indicated?

Instrumental examination of the esophagus using an esophagoscope is performed in two cases: for the diagnosis of pathological processes and for treatment.

So, with the help of esophagoscopy, a specialist diagnoses:

  • anomaly in the development of the esophagus and its walls;
  • achalasia cardia (narrowing of the lower esophageal sphincter);
  • erosive and ulcerative lesions of the mucosa;
  • diverticulum and tumor processes;
  • reflux disease;
  • the presence of foreign bodies and cicatricial strictures (as a result of a chemical burn).

During the diagnosis, material can be taken for further histological examination - a small piece of tissue of the esophageal mucosa is separated and sent for histological examination. Thus, if there is a suspicion of a neoplasm on the walls of the esophagus, it is possible to confirm or refute the assumption with the help of a biopsy.

Endoscopy is also recommended to:

  • remove the foreign mass;
  • use sclerosing agents to treat esophageal varicose veins to reduce the risk of bleeding;
  • stop bleeding (in this case, electrocoagulation is used or clips are applied to bleeding vessels);
  • bougienage of the esophagus.

Often, esophagoscopy is performed under anesthesia in the following situations, when the patient was diagnosed during the diagnosis: a large foreign body; suspicion that a foreign body is wedged into the walls of the esophagus; violation of the patient's auditory and speech reactions; disorder of the mental system; pathological processes affecting the cardiovascular system.

Under anesthesia, esophagoscopy is performed on children.

How to prepare for esophagoscopy?

This method of instrumental research is carried out on an empty stomach. The last meal should be at least 6 hours before the start of the study. Remaining food in the esophagus can adversely affect the results of the study.

Three days before the esophagoscopy, you should not drink alcohol, the day before the studyit is not recommendedto smoke.


If the patient is taking medication, this should be discussed with the attending physician. It is possible that the diagnostics will need to be rescheduled, since the action of the active components can significantly affect the results of instrumental diagnostics.

Diagnostic process

Esophagoscopy is performed in outpatient and hospital settings. Half an hour before the procedure, the patient is given the necessary medicines to relax the muscles of the esophagus. You can start the procedure only after receiving written informed consent from the patient for the study.

Local anesthesia of the oropharynx is performed prior to the procedure. The doctor irrigates the root of the tongue and oropharynx with an anesthetic solution, thus losing sensitivity, which avoids the gag reflex. Then the esophagoscope is inserted into the oral cavity and further into the pharynx. After that, the sensor enters the region of the esophagus. At this time, the patient must take a large sip, thereby pushing the sensor into the esophagus itself.

The diagnostic event lasts no more than twenty minutes. The procedure is generally painless. The only possible discomfort at the time of swallowing the sensor. Also during this period, the patient may feel vomiting, coughing and burning. But as soon as the esophagoscope enters the esophagus, all sensations will disappear.

The next day, the patient may have a cough, a feeling of itching and burning in the larynx. In this case, you should immediately contact a specialist and tell about all the unpleasant signs.

During the procedure under general anesthesia, after waking up, the patient may experience some discomfort, but within half an hour it disappears.