Gastroscopy is a procedure performed to visualise the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the bowel) using a flexible camera. It is used to diagnose disease of the upper GI tract, and common symptoms which may be investigated using this procedure may include:
Altered bowel habit / suspicion of coeliac disease
Upper abdominal pain
Abnormalities on scans (eg CT) which need further investigation
Surveillance for certain conditions, such as Barrett’s disease or previous stomach cancer
What does the gastroscopy procedure involve?
Gastroscopy does not need any preparation of the bowel or digestive tract prior to the procedure.
During the gastroscopy, samples (biopsies) are often taken to examine for evidence of reflux damage or ulceration, or if abnormal tissue is encountered. Prior to discharge, arrangements are made for a follow up appointment with either Mr MacLeod or your local GP to discuss the results of the gastroscopy.
How long does the gastroscopy procedure take?
The procedure usually takes about 15-minutes to perform, and is undertaken in an operating theatre or endoscopy suite under sedation. It is usually performed as a “day procedure”, which means you are only in hospital for the day. From time to time, patients may be admitted the day prior or stay overnight following the gastroscopy depending on individual circumstances.
Prior to your gastroscopy, Mr MacLeod or a member of the surgical team will speak to you regarding the procedure, its risks and answer any questions you have. Although gastroscopy is a common procedure to undertake, like any medical procedure it does come with small risks, which include – Bleeding, perforation (1:5000 risk), missed pathology (rare), adverse reactions and anaesthetic risks. Gastroscopy is only recommended when the benefit of the procedure outweighs the risk, but if you have any questions or concerns regarding this procedure you are welcome to discuss your options with Mr MacLeod.