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What is a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy is an investigation performed using a thin, flexible telescope. It is about as thick as a little finger. The endoscope is passed through the mouth, into the oesophagus and down towards the stomach and duodedenum.

The doctor can also take tiny biopsies during this test which can later be analysed in the laboratory. This is done painlessly.

This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis with minimal inconvenience and discomfort.

Why is There a Need for a Gastroscopy?

Some of the possible symptoms and indications that may require a colonoscopy to be performed are:

  • Recurring indigestion
  • Recurring heartburn
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Difficulty swallowing

What Happens During a Gastroscopy?

Local anaesthetic will be sprayed at the back of the throat. Mild sedation will be given to patient. This is usually given by an injection into a vein in the back of the hand.

Patient will be asked to lie on the side on a bed. Patients are asked to put a plastic mouth guard between the teeth. Air is passed down a channel in the endoscope into the stomach to make the stomach lining easier to see. This may cause you to feel full and want to belch. Biopsies of parts of the inside of the gut may be taken. A gastroscopy does not usually hurt and usually last about 10 minutes.

Preparation Before Gastroscopy

Patient should not eat for 4-6 hours before the test. The stomach needs to be empty.

After Gastroscopy

Most patients are ready to go home after resting for half an hour or so.

What are the Risks of a Gastroscopy?

Most gastroscopy can be done without any problem. Some people have a mild sore throat for a day or so afterwards.