A gastroscopy is a test for looking at the internal lining of the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (first part of the intestines). It is a useful aid in the diagnosis of such conditions as reflux oesophagitis, gastric and duodenal ulcer and cancer of the stomach. This test allows much more detail to be seen than the older contrast x-ray studies and the working channel in the scope allows for procedures such as polyp removal, biopsy, stricture dilation and injection of oesophageal varices (veins that bleed) to be performed as Day Surgery cases rather than more extensive surgery. The gastroscopy is performed in the Day Surgery by Dr Copp under heavy sedation given by a qualified anaesthetist using the latest in monitoring equipment. You will have no sensation of the procedure being performed and no memory of it. This will allow Dr Copp to have a good look to prove or exclude the condition suspected by your General Practitioner who has referred you.
After your Gastroscopy
When completed (usually in 15-20 minutes) you will be moved to the Recovery area for observation by trained Nursing Staff who will monitor you until awake when you may wish to have some sandwiches and refreshment. You may then be discharged from the Day Surgery.
YOU MUST MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR SOMEONE TO DRIVE YOU HOME AS THE ANAESTHETIC DRUGS WILL IMPAIR YOUR JUDGEMENT!
A summary of the findings will be given to you and follow-up appointment made if necessary. A formal report will be sent to your referring doctor.
Preparation for a gastroscopy is easy.
It simply requires you to be fasted from solid food six (6) hours prior and fluid four (4) hours prior to your gastroscopy. Complications of Gastroscopy are uncommon. Some people have a minor sore throat after the procedure. A small amount of internal bleeding can occur after polyp removal but this is usually small and unnoticed. Rarely would it require such intervention as a blood transfusion. Perforation is also extremely rare and is more likely if advanced techniques such as balloon dilation are performed. You will usually be advised that these procedures may be required and will also spend a longer time in Recovery to ensure no problems have occurred before discharge.