What is Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy is a test where an operator use a long, thin flexible tube which contains a light and a tiny video camera that will passed through the mouth, into oesophagus and down towards the stomach and duodenum to allow for detailed views of the upper part of your gut (gastrointestinal tract)
Why is gastroscopy performed?
A gastroscopy may be advised if you have symptoms such as:
- Repeated (reoccurring) indigestion
- Reoccurring heartburn
- Pains in the upper abdomen
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Other symptoms thought to be coming from the upper gut
Gastroscopy is more accurate than x-rays for detecting inflammation, ulcers or tumours of the upper GI tract. It can detect early cancer and can distinguish between cancerous and noncancerous condition by performing biopsies of suspicious area.
How do I prepare for gastroscopy?
A proper patient preparation is very important for the procedure to be successful and safe. If you have made an appointment with us for gastroscopy procedure, you will need to follow the prescribed preparation instructions link below.
PROCEDURE PREPARATION – GASTROSCOPY
How is gastroscopy performed?
Before the procedure, the health professionals with see you during your admission. You will be asked to lie down on your left side. Oxygen will be delivered to help with your breathing and mouth guard to protect your teeth. An anaesthetist will give you a light anaesthetic (sedative) which is extremely safe and short acting. Most patients will be completely asleep and unaware of the procedure and you will be carefully monitored throughout the procedure by the doctor and medical staff.
The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
Examination of the upper GI tract
Once sedated and lying in a comfortable position on your left side, the endoscope is passed through the mouth and then in turn through oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. The tube is just less than one centimetre in diameter and does not enter your windpipe, so it won’t interfere your breathing. A small camera in the end of the scope transmits a video image to a monitor, allowing the doctor to carefully examine the lining of your upper GI tract.
A variety of instruments can be passed through the endoscope that allows the surgeon to directly treat many abnormalities with little or no discomfort. For example, your doctor might stretch a narrowed area, remove polyps (usually benign growths) or treat bleeding.
Removal of polyps and biopsy
A polyp is a small tissue growth attached to GI tract wall. These are common in adults and are usually harmless.
Small tissue samples or biopsies of the GI tract may be taken for examination for many reasons and does not mean that cancer is suspected. This allows the doctor to review it with a microscope of signs of disease.
What happens after gastroscopy?
You will be monitored in the recovery area until the effects of the sedation medication have worn off. You may experience mild sore throat, or feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the test. Most of the patients will be allowed to eat and drink immediately after the procedure unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Food and beverages will be provided. You can usually go home approximately an hour after the procedure.
In most circumstances your doctor will discuss your test results on the day of the procedure and you will receive of your report to take to your GP or specialist. Any biopsies will be sent to pathology and results will be available to your referring doctor after several days. A follow up appointment with your GP or specialist should be made to discuss the results and allow further treatment.
Because of the sedation given it is very important to read the post procedure instructions link below.
POST PROCEDURE INTRUCTIONS
Are there any risks or side effects?
Generally, very few people experience serious side effects from gastroscopy when the procedure is performed by doctors who are specially trained in gastroscopy.
Complications are rare and the chance complications depends on the exact type of procedure that is being performed and other factors including your general health.
To ensure you are medically fit to undergo your procedure, usually risk screening will be done during our booking process and you may require to attend our pre-anaesthetic clinic if certain areas are not met. You will be attended by our highly qualified and experienced anaesthetists. Any concerns or questions you have in regards to your procedure and recovery will be available at our pre-anaesthetic clinic.
CONSULTATION – PRE ANAESTHETIC CLINIC
You may have a mild sore throat after the procedure and there is a slightly increased of chest infection. Air may also be trapped in your stomach causing you to feel bloated. If a biopsy has taken or treatment performed, there may be minor bleeding. Very rarely, the stomach lining may be torn, and if this occurs you will be admitted to hospital for an operation to repair it. Link below is the information on how to deal with these possible risks.
POST PROCEDURE INTRUCTIONS
Reactions to the sedative are also possible, but again rare.
In a few cases, if the gastroscopy is not successfully completed it may need to be repeated.
If you have any of the following symptoms in the hours or days after the gastroscopy you should contact the hospital or your doctor’s rooms immediately:
Increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain
Other symptoms that cause your concern
We aim to provide the best quality healthcare. Our quality policies and procedures are in place to minimise the possible risks. The link below will provide you the information of the possible uncommon risks. UNCOMMON RISKS OF ENDOSCOPIC PROCEDURE