Smaller instruments have been developed to allow evaluation of the esophagus in the office with any sedation. We offer in-office esophagoscopy to anyone with swallowing problems, globus (lump in the throat) and/or reflux disease. This allows us to look for disease processes in the esophagus such as strictures, infections, erosions from reflux, and cancer. Studies have shown that this procedure is equal in diagnostic value to sedated endoscopies, traditionally performed with larger endoscopes through the mouth. Since the major risk of endoscopy is sedation, transnasal esophagoscopy is much safer than alternatives. In addition, you will not have to take the entire day off of work for the procedure, and you can drive yourself home.
During transnasal esophagoscopy (TNE), you will be seated in a chair in the clinic, and your nose will be gently packed on one side with a numbing medicine. Then the endoscope (long lighted camera) is passed through the nose and into the throat. At this point, we get an excellent view of your throat and voice box. Then you will be asked to swallow, and the endoscope will be gently advanced into your esophagus. At this point, we can evaluate the entire esophagus and part of the stomach, taking small painless biopsies, if necessary. The entire procedure takes 5-10 minutes.
Multiple procedures can be performed with TNE, including balloon dilation and injections. For longer procedures and some dilations, we do offer light sedation in an operating room adjacent to the clinic.