An upper endoscopy is an exam in which a flexible tube with a fiber optic light and camera (endoscope) is passed down the esophagus into the stomach and the duodenum (the upper section of the small intestines).
This procedure is done to assess symptoms of acid reflux (GERD), gastric ulcers, inflammation of the esophagus (heartburn), difficulty swallowing, and other symptoms.  Unlike colonoscopies, upper endoscopies are not done for screening purposes.
Your physician will determine if you need this procedure based on a physical exam and evaluation of your symptoms, such as pain, heartburn, anemia, and weight loss.
For more information regarding this procedure, click here.