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What is a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy is a camera used to examine upper sections of the digestive/gastrointestinal tract. It is performed through the use of a long flexible tube (called an endoscope) with a light and camera at the end. The organs examined are the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.


How is a Gastroscopy Performed?

A gastroscopy is performed typically under sedation/anaesthetic. The procedure takes 15-20 minutes during which time the specialist will carefully examine the lining of the bowel. Tissue samples (biopsies) may be taken depending on the reason for the procedure. Polyps (fleshy growths on the lining of the bowel) may also be removed during the procedure. Following the gastroscopy, you may feel bloated due to use of air to inflate the bowel during the procedure.


What are the Risks of a Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is an extremely well tolerated procedure. In the majority of patients there are no side effects or complications from the procedure. Uncommon complications include perforation, bleeding, aspiration/anaesthetic complications, failure to complete the procedure, or missed lesions.


What Preparation is Needed for a Gastroscopy?

Fasting for at least 6 hours is the only preparation needed for a gastroscopy.


As the procedure is under sedation/anaesthesia, you will require a responsible adult to drive you home, and you must refrain from driving for the remainder of the day.


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