Gastroscopy is an investigatory procedure which allows the doctor to look at the inner lining of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum by using a long flexible tube (the size of your little finger) with a tiny video camera and light source at the end that is placed through your mouth. It allows the doctor to detect ulcers, tumours and inflammations in your upper digestive tract and is useful for the diagnosis of bleeding, swallowing problems or abdominal pain.
Who should have gastroscopy?
The procedure is indicated for:
- Recurrent epigastric pain
- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Peptic ulcers
- Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (tarry stool)
- Suspected upper gastrointestinal malignancy
- Cancer screening for high risk group
How to prepare for the procedure?
- Do not eat or drink anything for 6-8 hours before the procedure.
- The procedure can be performed on the same day right after the consultation for patients who have already fasted for 6-8 hours.
What happens when the procedure is performed?
- You might be given a "sedative" through an intravenous (IV) linebefore the procedure begins. This medication will put you to sleep through the procedure.
- A local anesthetic will be sprayed onto your throat to minimize the discomfort (choking feeling) when the tube is being introduced.
- You will be asked to swallow at the time the tube is placed into your throat. This will guide the endoscope into your oesophagus. The doctor will gently push the tube so that its end moves into your gullet.
- If a suspicious area is seen on the lining of the stomach or esophagus, the doctor will remove a tiny piece of tissue (a biopsy) for examination under the microscope.
- During the procedure, it is normal if you have a feeling of nausea. Relaxation can help to facilitate the procedure.
Must I do anything special after the procedure is over?
- If you have not been given IV sedatives, you are advised to rest for at least 15-30 minutes and can leave if there is no complication.
- You can drink water one hour after the procedure and resume normal diet if there is no choking.
- If you have been given sedatives, you must be accompanied by an adult when you leave because the intravenous sedation might make you dizzy. Please do not drive, ride a bicycle, operate any machinery or drink any alcoholic beverage within 24 hours after the procedure.
- You may experience a minor sore throat and/or abdominal distension immediately after the procedure. These symptoms will gradually subside. Inform your doctor if these symptoms persist.
The Centre is managed by a team of dedicated and experienced endoscopists. It is equipped with state-of-the-art endoscopic imaging systems and the aim is to provide high quality services in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, biliary and pancreatic system as well as the respiratory system. If necessary, during the procedure, the patient can be sedated with the help of our experienced anaesthesiologists to minimize any discomfort he/she might encounter during the procedure.
Patients who choose to undergo the consultation and gastroscopy procedure on the same day should fast (do not eat or drink) for 6 to 8 hours before they come to the Centre. Our specialists will tell you right after the procedure what is seen in your upper digestive tract. If biopsies are taken, it will take 2 to 3 working days to complete the report. Your specialist or attending doctor will contact you for subsequent follow-up and treatment.