Gastroscopy helps in the examination of the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum with the help of an endoscope to determine ailments of gastrointestinal systems in the body. In this procedure, an endoscope with a thin tube and a camera and light source attached to one end, helps see the insides. A monitor displays the images for further medical procedure or examination. Gastroscopy can help determine and diagnose ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer of the stomach or oesophagus, coeliac disease, and more. The procedure is also used to remove polyps, stop gastric bleeding, placement of stents, and more.Gastroscopy is used in conditions like
- Constant abdominal pain
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Indigestion and bloating
- Blood in vomit
- Significant weight loss
- Epigastric pain
What is upper endoscopy?
Gastroscopy is also known as upper endoscopy, is used for the examination of the lining of the oesophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine (duodenum). In this diagnostic procedure, a gastroscope attached with a light and a camera is inserted through the mouth of the patient to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract.
What are the complications associated with gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy is a safe diagnostic procedure. The patient will experience bloating and sore throat for a couple of hours after the examination. Other rare complications of gastroscopy are:
- Perforation of the lining of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.
- Abdominal and chest pain
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Reaction to sedation
Will I vomit during the procedure?
Inserting gastroscope through the mouth can cause gagging and vomiting. The numbing spray is used to numb the throat and sedation is used to relax the patient for a comfortable experience. Numbing and sedation reduce gagging and vomiting during the procedure. So there is minimal to zero chances of vomit during the procedure.
Can gastroscopy detect cancer?
Yes, gastroscopy is used for both diagnosing and confirming the diagnosis of cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract. It is also used for collecting tissue from the abnormal growth on the inner lining of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. It is also used for removing polyps that can turn into cancerous growth.
How to prepare for a gastroscopy examination?
Special instructions are given to the patient before gastroscopy examination for a clear view of the stomach during the procedure and to prevent unwanted complications. Before the examination patient is advised to:
- To stop or adjust ongoing medications at least a week before the procedure
- Do not eat 6 to 8 hours, and stop drinking 2 to 3 hours before the procedure
- Arrange someone to take the patient back home
- Do not smoke as tobacco can change the colour of the stomach lining
How much time is needed for recovery?
Gastroscopy is performed under sedation, so after the examination patient has to wait at the clinic till the effect of sedation wears off. The patient is instructed to arrange for someone to drive back home and stay with them for the next 24 hours. The patient will also experience bloating and sore throat for a couple of hours.