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.
The procedure can be uncomfortable and to make the procedure more comfortable a sedative injection or a light anaesthetic can be given.
If you prefer, it can be done without sedation.
Before the procedure begins the doctor:
This is where the sedation or anaesthetic is injected and
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:
Your responsibilities before having this procedure
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.
Polyps are fleshy growths in the bowel lining, and they scan be as small as a tiny dot or up to several centimetres in size.
They are not usually cancer but can potentially grow into cancer over time. Taking polyps out is an important way of preventing bowel cancer.
The doctor usually removes a polyp along the endoscope by using a wire loop. An electric current is sometimes also used. This is not painful.
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.
No. Your doctor could discuss with you other ways of managing your condition.
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;