A gastroscopy is a special test using a long thin flexible telescope. It is performed to visualise and investigate the oesophagus (or gullet), stomach, and the first part of the small bowel, called the duodenum. The gastroscope has a very bright light and a tiny video camera on the end connected to a screen so that the doctor can see the lining of your gut. The gastroscopy is performed by your doctor or ‘Endoscopist’.
The test can pick up abnormalities in the gullet due to acid reflux, hiatus hernias, stomach or duodenal ulcers, inflammation and other problems. It can also pick up cancers or malignant changes in the lining of the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum.
It is very important that you take nothing at all by mouth for 6 hours before your gastroscopy. This is to make sure that the Endoscopist gets a clear view. However it is also important to ensure that no food or fluid passes into your lungs during the test.
When you come to the hospital, a nurse will check your details and discuss the gastroscopy with you, to ensure you understand what the procedure involves. If you have any allergies or reactions to drugs or other tests, please make sure you have told the nurse and doctor. If you have heart valve disease or require antibiotics when you visit the dentist please tell us when you come for the procedure. You will be seen by the Endoscopist and will be able to ask any questions. You will also be asked to sign a consent form. Remember, you can change your mind about having the procedure at any time.
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