What is a gastroscopy?

A specialist doctor performs a gastroscopy (upper endoscopy), using a thin flexible tube-like instrument with a camera and light on the end (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.

Diagnostic gastroscopy is a very safe and routine 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 will help your doctor diagnose the cause of your abdominal pain, vomiting or any bleeding from your digestive tract. A gastroscopy can detect ulcers, small lesions, reflux and infections caused by bacteria and parasites. It also screens for stomach cancer.

This procedure allows the doctor to take tissue samples for pathology testing and remove benign polyps that may be found during the gastroscopy, in most cases. Although stomach polyps are rarely pre-cancerous, they can lead to other digestive problems and are, therefore, removed for that reason.

Preparing for a Gastroscopy requires fasting only. For more information, click here

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