What is Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy procedure (sometimes known as a gastro-intestinal endoscopy) involves examining your upper digestive system with a tiny camera on a flexible tube (an endoscope). This is usually performed along with a colonoscopy, which carries out the same kind of examination of your bowel.
The reason for this exploration is usually because your doctor wants to investigate symptoms you’ve been experiencing such as indigestion, heartburn, upper abdominal pains, difficulties in swallowing or other problems related to your digestive system.
The gastroscopy will allow a closer examination of your oesophagus, stomach and small intestine and also allow biopsies to be taken during the procedure.
If you are exploring private options as an alternative to going on a waiting list you can be confident that you will be well cared for by our medical team. They have experience in carrying out many of these procedures and will explain everything to you in detail and ensure you are happy to go ahead. You will be provided with a booklet that gives you comprehensive information on a gastroscopy procedure, before, during and after.
Q: Can I decide not to have this procedure?
A: You always have a choice, but if you decide not to go ahead with this procedure you will need to discuss this further with your doctor.
Q: Is it just a camera?
A: The endoscope (that’s the term for the equipment containing the camera, also has the ability to remove polyps and take biopsies if the consultant wants to take a closer look. This doesn’t hurt and means you won’t need to come back for another procedure later.
Q: Is there an incision?
A: No, the endoscope is inserted through your mouth.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: There may some minor discomfort as the tube is introduced down your throat, but this is momentary and your nurse will ensure you are all right and you will have had a needle placed in the back of your hand to allow you to receive sedation if necessary.
Q: How long will it take?
A: A gastroscopy doesn’t take very long at all – it can be as quick as 5 minutes.
Q: Are there any after effects?
A: You may have a slight sore throat, but this usually goes quite quickly. As air will have been introduced to your stomach to help the passage of the endoscope you may have wind pains and need to burp, this is quite normal and usually passes quickly. You will need to rest or sleep for about an hour whilst the sedation wears off and you will be monitored by the nurse until you are fit to leave. It is advisable to have someone with you to take you home.