At Moonee Valley Specialist Centre, one of our main services is providing gastroscopy procedures performed by our specialist gastroenterologist Dr. Nathan Connelly. With a referral from your GP, we can perform this examination in a hygienic clinical environment where you will be looked after every step of the way.
Upon completion of the procedure, Dr. Connelly will be able to interpret and give you a thorough breakdown of the results. This information can then be used to take the necessary course of action to address any issues discovered regarding your gastrointestinal health.
What is a gastroscopy?
A specialist doctor performs a gastroscopy procedure (also known as an upper endoscopy), using a thin, flexible tube-like instrument with a video camera and light on the end (known as a gastroscope) to carefully examine the lining of your oesophagus, stomach and small bowel. The camera collects images that are viewed by your specialist on a screen monitor during the procedure.
This is a very safe and routine diagnostic procedure. Under sedation, the gastroscope is gently passed through your mouth, down your throat, and into your stomach. Because you’re sedated and not fully anaesthetised, a gastroscopy is a day procedure and has a quick recovery period.
Why do I need a gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy procedure will help your doctor diagnose the cause of your abdominal pain, vomiting, or any bleeding from your digestive tract. It can detect stomach ulcers, small lesions, reflux and infections caused by bacteria and parasites. It also screens for stomach cancer and oesophageal cancer.
This procedure allows the doctor to take tissue samples for pathology testing and remove benign polyps that may be found during the examination, in most cases. Although stomach polyps are rarely pre-cancerous, they can lead to other digestive problems and are, therefore, removed for that reason.
A gastroscopy is an extremely important diagnostic tool for giving doctors a clear view inside of your body. If you go to your GP complaining of vomiting, abdominal pain, or bleeding from your digestive tract, they will want you to get this procedure done as soon as possible.
Of course, this examination can prove to be life-saving when it is used to detect cancer. As with most types of cancer, stomach cancer and oesophageal cancer will respond better to treatment when discovered early.
In short, this procedure is crucial as a means of confirming or ruling out suspected conditions, allowing you to move on with the most accurate picture of your health.
When it comes to gastroscopy prep, you need to have an empty stomach for the examination to be performed safely. This means you should not eat or drink anything (including water) for 3-4 hours prior to the procedure.
Don’t worry, our team will inform you as to when exactly you need to start fasting. It’s important that you disclose to us any medications that you take, as the final dose prior to the examination may need to be adjusted (this is very important if you are diabetic).
You should also tell us about any allergies or medical conditions you have, such as lung or heart disease. If you normally require antibiotics before dental treatments, then you should tell us, as you might also need antibiotics before undergoing your procedure.
Another important aspect of your gastroscopy prep is organising transport to and from our clinic. Due to the sedating drugs that you will be given, you cannot drive yourself home and will need someone to pick you up.
Once all of the gastroscopy prep is complete, the examination can take place. You will be sedated by an anaesthetist and asked to lie down on your left side. The tube (endoscope) will not interfere with your breathing, and you will likely not remember much if anything of the examination due to being deeply anaesthetised.
Following the completion of your gastroscopy procedure, we will monitor you to ensure that most of the effects of the medication begin to wear off. It’s normal for your throat to be a little sore, and the air that enters your stomach during the examination may make you feel bloated.
You will be permitted to eat as soon as you leave the clinic (unless we advise you otherwise). The sedatives will mean that you won’t be permitted to drive yourself home. The sedation will also impair your judgement, so you can’t sign any legal documents or do anything that requires focused thinking until the following day.