What is a gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum.
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What does a gastroscopy procedure involve?
The majority of patients will be offered a local anaesthetic throat spray for the procedure. If appropriate, the endoscopist may offer you a sedative to help you relax, but this will be discussed with you along with any risks.
The procedure very rarely takes longer than seven to 10 minutes and involves passing the tube over the back of your tongue down into your stomach and duodenum which is the first part of your bowel. The procedure should not be painful but may be a bit uncomfortable.
The endoscopist will be able to look for problems in these organs such as inflammation or ulcers.
They will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis.
What complications can happen?
Although rare, complications can happen. Your endoscopist will explain these to you. Complications can include:
- Allergic reaction
- Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
- Making a hole in the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum
- Damage to teeth or bridgework
- Incomplete procedure
How soon will you recover?
You may have a bit of a sore throat and feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass.
A member of the team will tell you what was found during the endoscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
If you have not been sedated, you should be able to go back to work the day after the endoscopy. It is important to remember that if you have had sedation then this is in your system for at least 24 hours, so you will be advised to not doing anything for this time and someone must be with you.