What is a gastroscopy?
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). This is done to look at reasons as to why you may have swallowing problems, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain or chest pain.
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 sees the stomach lining better. As a result, you might feel some pressure, bloating or cramping during the procedure.
This instrument can also be used to remove or burn growths or to take tissue biopsies.
You will then 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 want to test for bacteria in the stomach they may need to take a biopsy (small pieces of tissue) for testing at Pathology.
This procedure may or may not require a sedation anaesthetic.