Gastroscopy

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What is Gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy is a procedure that allows the specialist to examine the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract using a thin flexible tube, which contains a video camera and a light source.  The procedure takes 10 to 15 minutes.

Why is Gastroscopy done?
This test is performed to evaluate symptoms of persistent abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and difficulty in swallowing.

What preparation is required?
You are not to have anything to eat, drink or smoke for six hours prior to this test.  Please do not chew gum on the day of your procedure.

What about my normal medication?
Cease taking Nexium, Somac, Pariet, Zantac or Losec for five days prior to your procedure.  You are not to take Mylanta for 24 hours prior to your appointment, and you must not take any of your normal medication in the six hours before your procedure.  If you have any concerns about your medication please contact your local doctor.

What happens during the procedure?
A mouth guard is placed over your teeth.  The anaesthetist will give you an injection to sedate you and then places you on your side.  Most patients remain asleep for the procedure and feel little discomfort.  The endoscope is passed into your mouth, down the oesophagus into the stomach and duodenum.  Small tissue samples (biopsies) are usually taken during the procedure.

What complications can occur from a Gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy is generally a safe procedure, especially when performed by experienced specialists.  Although rare, complications can occur.  These include bleeding, usually from a biopsy site, and perforation mainly following dilatation of strictures.  Other adverse effects include reaction to the drugs used and irritation of the vein from the intravenous injection.

What happens following the Gastroscopy procedure?
After the procedure patients are monitored in the recovery room until the effects of the sedation have worn off.  This may take up to one hour.  You may find that your throat feels sore and irritated, or that your stomach feels bloated.  Patients are able to resume normal activities the following day.  Due to the sedation patients are not allowed to drive or operate machinery until the following day.  If a medical certificate is required you should request this from the receptionist.