Today I went to see my surgeon to follow up on the gastrointestinal bleed. He is going to do an upper GI endoscopy and a colonoscopy next Wednesday (9/30/09). The upper GI is a procedure where the doctor passes a long, flexible tube (endoscope) through the mouth, down the esophagus, into the stomach, and into a portion of the small intestine for examination. He will take biopsies as he sees fit.
The colonoscopy will allow visualization of the rectum and colon. The scope inflates the large intestine with carbon dioxide gas to give the doctor a better view. A small camera mounted on the scope transmits a video image from inside the large intestine to a computer screen, allowing the doctor to carefully examine the intestinal lining. Once the scope has reached the opening to the small intestine, it is slowly withdrawn and the lining of the large intestine is carefully examined again. Biopsies will be taken as necessary.