What is a Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy is a procedure used to examine your upper digestive system with a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube (gastroscope).
Why do I need this test?
A gastroscopy is used to diagnose and, sometimes, treat conditions that affect the upper part of your digestive system – oesophagus, stomach and first part of small bowel (duodenum).
Gastroscopy can look for causes of symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Biopsies (samples of tissue) can be taken to test for diseases and conditions, such as anemia, coeliac disease, inflammation, diarrhea or cancers of the digestive system.
What can I expect?
The procedure is a day case.
It is performed under light sedation given by an anaesthetist, most people don't remember the test.
The gastroscopy typically takes between 15 – 20 minutes.
During this time your heart, blood pressure and breathing will be carefully monitored.
You will usually be in the Day Procedure Centre for 2 - 4 hours.
What happens after the procedure?
You will fully recover from the light sedation approximately one to two hours after the procedure. A nurse will monitor you throughout your recovery.
Your doctor will inform you of anything that was found during the gastroscopy and discuss any treatment or follow-up if required.
Your nurse will give you instructions to take home and let you know what to do if you experience any problems post procedure.
A friend or family member will accompany you home to ensure your safety.
You will be able to conduct normal daily activities the following day.
What are the risks?
Gastroscopy is a vey safe procedure.
Rare complications include:
- Reactions to anaesthetic used for the test.
- Bleeding if biopsy are taken or polyps removed.
- A tear in the gastrointestinal tract.