These Tests can be Used to Detect and Treat Esophageal Conditions


If you or a loved one have an issue with your esophagus, it's necessary to have it evaluated so that the appropriate diagnosis and treatment strategy can be performed. You may be wondering, how does that happen? At GastroArkansas, our GI specialists perform certain types of tests to evaluate esophageal issues that could be affecting your health. Please do not allow an esophageal problem to continue to negatively affect your life and health. To learn more about the types of testing procedures and treatments for esophageal conditions in Little Rock, AR, please request an appointment with one of our digestive health providers. Read below to discover how these individual tests work.

When is an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) necessary?

An esophagogastroduodenoscopy, often simply called an EGD, is a test carried out to examine your upper gastrointestinal tract. Also referred to as an upper endoscopy, it utilizes a high-definition camera fitted on the end of the endoscope, or tube.

During the exam, the endoscope is gently positioned down through your throat to help our team visualize the esophagus, stomach, and upper portion of the small intestine, or duodenum. The camera transmits the pictures that are captured to our computer software so that our GI specialist can evaluate them. Once the pictures have been analyzed, our team of GI providers can provide a diagnosis and discuss the treatment plan right for your needs. An esophagogastroduodenoscopy procedure could be a good test if you’ve noticed the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vomiting blood
  • Functional indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Persistent acid reflux
  • Anemia
  • Ongoing nausea or vomiting

Our team at GastroArkansas can provide further details about this procedure and whether it can help address your concerns.

How can a CT scan detect and treat esophageal problems?

A diagnostic computed tomography or CT imaging approach is an extremely helpful tool for your GI physician when it comes to esophageal problems. CT scans often work as the primary step in the process of evaluating the esophagus. These radiographic exams provide a clear image of the area. Once captured, the images are then passed on to your physician, who examines them and can determine the next steps to follow to help you get relief from your esophageal issues.

Our Little Rock, AR gastroenterology providers may order a CT exam to provide an accurate diagnosis of esophageal disorders. These CT scans can assist with:

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

When would a barium x-ray be recommended?

Your GI doctor may recommend a barium x-ray if a radiographic assessment of your digestive tract is necessary. It is generally performed to diagnose abnormalities, such as polyps, tumors, hernias, ulcers, strictures, and inflammatory conditions.

The barium utilized in this procedure is a dry and white chalky powder. The barium powder is mixed with liquid so that it can be easily swallowed. Following ingestion, the barium solution will line the inside walls of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. The visibility of the barium material allows our digestive health doctors to evaluate for variations that might not be obvious when conventional x-rays are ordered.

There are multiple kinds of barium x-ray imaging that may be conducted. These include a barium enema to look at the lower GI tract, a small-bowel follow-through, and a barium swallow to assess the upper digestive tract. If you or someone you love think you could benefit from an esophageal evaluation, request a consultation with us as soon as possible.

Get personalized esophageal treatment in Little Rock, AR

When you find yourself in need of treatment for esophageal problems, you can count on the doctors at GastroArkansas. Our team will work closely with you to design a treatment strategy that targets your needs. Contact us now to request a consultation with one of our esophageal specialists in Little Rock, AR to find the solutions you require.