A gastroscopy is where the doctor uses an instrument called an endoscope to look at the inside lining of your oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).
Varices are large veins that appear in the oesophagus and stomach. These may rupture and cause significant bleeding requiring endoscopic treatment. Banding of oesophagealvarices involves placement of rubber bands over the varices at the time of endoscopy. Glueing is usually reserved for stomach varices and involves injecting glue into them. This will cause the blood in the varices to clot and eventually the clotted vein will disappear. It is not possible to know which treatment is necessary until the endoscopy is performed.
This procedure is usually repeated every 2 – 3 weeks to see if other bands are needed. After about 3sessions the varices are usually sufficiently treated.
An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a small camera and light attached which allows the doctor to see the pictures of the inside of your gut on a video screen. The scope bends, so that the doctor can move it around the curves of your gut. The scope also blows air into your stomach; this expands the folds of tissue in your stomach so that the doctor can see the stomach lining better. As a result, you might feel some pressure, bloating or cramping during the procedure.
You will lie on your left side, and the doctor will pass the endoscope into your mouth and down your oesophagus (food pipe) stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). Your doctor will examine the lining again as the endoscope is taken out.
The endoscope does not cause problems with your breathing.
You should plan on 2 to 3 hours for waiting, preparation and recovery. The procedure itself usually takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.
If the doctor sees anything unusual or wants to test for bacteria in the stomach they may need to take a biopsy (small pieces of tissue) for testing at Pathology.
The procedure can be uncomfortable and to make the procedure more comfortable a sedative injection or alight anaesthetic can be given.
If you prefer, it can be done without sedation.
Before the procedure begins the doctor;
Sedation is the use of drugs that give you a ‘sleepy like’ feeling. It makes you feel very relaxed during a procedure that may be otherwise unpleasant or painful.
You may remember some or little about what has occurred during the procedure.
Anaesthesia is generally very safe but every anaesthetic has a risk of side effects and complications. Whilst these are usually temporary, some of them may cause long-term problems.
The risk to you will depend on:
There are risks and complications with this procedure.
They include but are not limited to the following.
Common risks and complications include:
Uncommon risks and complications include:
Rare risks and complications include:
You are less at risk of problems if you do the following:
Your stomach must be empty for the procedure to be safe and thorough, so you will not be able to eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the procedure.
Your doctor may take a biopsy (a very small piece of the stomach lining) to be examined at Pathology.
Biopsies are used to identify many conditions even if cancer is not thought to be the problem.
Your symptoms may become worse and the doctor will not be able to give you the correct treatment without knowing the cause of your problems.
Your doctor discuss could discuss with you ways of managing your condition. Usually treatments are reserved for situations where banding fails.
You will remain in the recovery area for about 2 hours until the effect of the sedation wears off.
Your doctor will tell you when you can eat and drink.
Most times this is straight after the procedure.
Your throat may feel sore and you might have some cramping pain or bloating because of the air entering the stomach during the procedure.
You will be told what was found during the examination or you may need to come back to discuss the results, and to find out the results of any biopsies that may have been taken.
Sedation will affect your judgment for about 24 hours.
For your own safety and in some cases legally;
Notify the hospital Emergency Department straightaway if you have;