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What is a gastroscope?

A gastro scope is a flexible fiber optic tube with a light and camera, that is attached to a computer and screen. The gastro scope is to examine the esophagus (food pipe) , stomach, and upper part of the intestine.

Why do I need a gastroscopy?

  • To evaluate gastro intestinal bleedings, unexplained anemia and suspected cancer;
  • To remove foreign bodies such as bones, coins from stomach and food particles;
  • To determine the type and extend of inflammation, gastritis chronic indigestion problems;
  • The procedure may be required if you are unable to hold down food, experience chronic vomiting and swallowing difficulties.

How do I prepare for the test?

Preparation is discussed with your gastroenterologist and includes:

  • Fasting (no eating or drinking) after 10pm the day prior to the test.
  • Plan to have someone to take you home after the test as you will feel drowsy and unable to drive.

How is the test performed?

  • You will be required to change into a gown and instructed to lay down on the bed;
  • The back of your throat will be numbed with a spray to reduce the gagging reflex;
  • A sedative can be given to help relaxation during the procedure;
  • The gastro scope will be slowly inserted via the mouth into the esophagus (food pipe), to the stomach and into the small intestine;
  • The doctor will examine the inner line of the stomach and into the small intestine looking for abnormalities;
  • Biopsies (tissue samples) are taken for further analysis;
  • The patient is observed and reassured during the test;
  • You may have a gag reflex and/ or feel uncomfortable;
  • You may feel drowsy due to the administered sedative medication.

After the test:

If a biopsy is performed this will be send to the laboratory.

The nurse will observe you until the sedative wears off. You then can get dressed in your normal clothes in the adjoining bathroom.

You will be advised not to drive a car.

The follow up plan is discussed with the patient and accompanying person.

You will be requested to return to the gastroenterologist office on a later date for biopsy results.

Rick encountered:

Because of the numbing of the throat there is a risk of choking when you drink fluids. You will be advised to wait with drinking until an hour after the procedure to allow the medication to wear off.

You may feel a sore throat for a day or two afterwards.

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