What is a gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is an examination of the lining of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum by means of a gastroscope. A gastroscope is a long flexible tube with a tiny video camera on the end. It is passed into the mouth and down into the oesophagus and stomach enabling the lining of the oesophagus and stomach to be directly visualised on a video screen.

Why would I need a gastroscopy?

  • To look for causes of epigastric discomfort and swallowing difficulties
  • To determine the extent and severity of inflammation and/or reflux in the stomach and oesophagus
  • To look for a cause of blood loss in the stomach
  • To check for ulcers and polyps

Common Questions

Where is a gastroscopy performed?

A gastroscopy is normally performed under sedation in a procedure room.

Do I need an anaesthetic to have a gastroscopy?

Gastroscopic procedures are normally carried out under sedation and only rarely is a general anaesthetic required.

What preparation is involved for a gastroscopy or a colonoscopy and how long afterwards could I resume normal activities?

A gastroscopy requires no food six hours prior and no fluid four hours prior to the procedure.

If the procedure has been performed under sedation, recovery usually takes up to two hours after which time you will be able to eat or drink as you wish. If, however, you have had either of the procedures under general anaesthetic, recovery will take longer.

You should be able to resume normal activities the day after your procedure. However, you will not be able to drive for 24 hours following a general anaesthetic or sedation.

A written report is provided by your clinician after the procedure (with a copy to your GP) and further advice or diagnostic consultation are arranged as necessary.