Gastroscopy is looking down into your stomach with a special
instrument called a gastroscope. A gastroscopy is done for
several reasons. This is a very common procedure and your
doctor would have explained to you why you need it.
There are several ways to investigate the stomach. Only with
a gastroscopy, however, can the inside of the stomach be
Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the
You will be given an intravenous injection or infusion
with sedation. You will feel drowsy.
Your throat will be sprayed with a local anaesthetic and
your throat will feel numb or swollen or dry.
The gastroscope is an instrument with lenses in it and a
light at its tip. It is smooth, flexible, and almost as big
as your little finger.
You will be positioned on a comfortable table. Your mouth
and throat will be sprayed to make them numb.
You will be given medicine to keep you drowsy during the
procedure. The gastroscope will be introduced gently into
your mouth and then into your throat and down your gullet,
which will also be examined on the way down to the stomach.
When in the stomach the tip of the gastroscope can be
turned in all directions and the wall of the stomach can
be examined thoroughly. The gastroscope will be advanced
through the exit of the stomach and into the duodenum for
If anything suspicious is seen, a tiny piece will be taken
(a biopsy) for examination in the laboratory.
When the examination is complete the gastroscope is
The medicine that made you feel drowsy will be stopped and
you should become alert again quickly.
The entire procedure takes around 30 minutes. Most
patients remember very little of the procedure and think it
took only a few minutes.
When your blood pressure, pulse and breathing are stable
and you are completely alert, you should be able to go home
with a responsible adult.
Your doctor will discuss the results of the gastroscopy
In one to two hours, when your throat is not numb any
longer, you may eat or drink.
You may not drive or work for the rest of the day.
Complications are infrequent after a gastroscopy. It is
important however for you to remember the following.
Very rarely the gastroscope may perforate an organ. In the
unlikely event that this happens, you will have to have an
operation to have this perforation repaired.
If a biopsy is done, very infrequently there may be a
large bleed. Your doctor will decide how best to manage