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


If you or a loved one develop a problem with your esophagus, it's imperative to get it assessed by a medical professional so that the appropriate diagnosis and treatment protocol can be carried out. You might be wondering, how does that happen? At GI Alliance of Illinois, our digestive health doctors offer certain types of tests to identify esophageal disorders that might be interfering with your health. Do not let an esophageal disorder continue to negatively affect your quality of life. To find out more about the various testing procedures and treatments for esophageal conditions in Hinsdale, IL, please request a consultation with one of our digestive health providers. Read below to find out more about how each test work.

How does an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) work?

Commonly referred to as an EGD, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that is performed to examine the upper GI tract. Commonly called an upper endoscopy procedure, it utilizes a miniaturized camera fitted on the end of the endoscope, or tube.

During the procedure, the tube is gently positioned down through your throat to help our team see your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The camera transmits the images that are taken to our computer monitor so that our GI doctor can study them. When the images are examined, our experts can provide a diagnosis and discuss the treatment method right for your needs. An EGD test could be recommended if you’ve had the following symptoms:

  • Functional indigestion
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Ongoing nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vomiting blood
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Heartburn
  • Recurrent acid reflux
  • Difficulty swallowing

The team at GI Alliance of Illinois can provide more details about this exam and if it could be advantageous to your health.

How does a CT scan detect and treat esophageal conditions?

A CT or computed tomography scan can be an extremely useful tool for your GI doctor as it pertains to esophageal issues. CTs often function as the initial step when examining the esophagus. As radiographic procedures, CTs generate a clear image of the area. Once taken, these x-ray images are then passed on to your physician, who evaluates them and can identify the steps to follow to help you get relief from your esophageal concern.

Our Hinsdale, IL gastroenterology providers may order a CT exam to provide an accurate diagnosis of esophageal disorders. These x-ray images can help with the following:

  • Detecting irritation or inflammation
  • Determining if esophageal cancer has spread
  • Identifying suspicious areas in the esophagus
  • Detecting esophageal cancer

When would a barium x-ray be conducted?

Your gastroenterologist may order a barium x-ray when a radiographic evaluation of your gastrointestinal tract is warranted. Barium x-ray procedures are commonly used to diagnose areas of concern, like hernias, tumors, ulcers, polyps, strictures, and inflammatory conditions.

The barium used in this exam is a white, dry chalky powder-like consistency. This powder is combined with liquid, allowing it to be swallowed. After it has been ingested, the barium solution will coat the inner lining of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. The white appearance of the barium material allows our GI physicians to examine for irregularities that might not be observed when regular x-ray images are conducted.

There are multiple types of barium x-ray exams that may be used. These variations include a barium enema to visualize the lower GI tract, a small-bowel follow-through (SMFT), and a barium swallow to examine the upper GI tract. If you or a family member believe you could need an esophageal assessment, please request a visit with us today.

Get specialized esophageal treatment in Hinsdale, IL

Should you need care for esophageal conditions, you can rely on the specialists at GI Alliance of Illinois. We will work closely with you to tailor a treatment protocol that treats your condition. Reach out to us now to request a treatment consultation with one of our esophageal specialists in Hinsdale, IL to get the care you deserve.