GI Health Specialists are experts in Gastroscopy. The procedure is performed at accredited hospitals to ensure that you receive superior care, have an anaesthetist present and are supported by qualified medical staff.
Gastroscopy (also known as an upper GI endoscopy) is a procedure that examines the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, (the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum) using a thin flexible tube with its own inbuilt video camera, lens and light source called a gastroscope.
Why is it needed?
Gastroscopy is usually performed to evaluate symptoms of heartburn, reflux, upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing.
It is the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract.
It is the most accurate means of detecting inflammation and ulcers of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.
Gastroscopy can detect early cancer. Biopsies (taking small tissue samples) can distinguish between benign and malignant (cancer) conditions.
It may also be used to treat conditions present in the upper gastrointestinal tract. A variety of instruments can be passed through the endoscope allowing some abnormalities to be treated directly. For example, stretching narrowed areas, removing polyps or treating upper gastrointestinal bleeding with thermal techniques or the application of clips.
Risks associated with Gastroscopy
Adverse reactions are not expected at gastroscopy, however you should be aware of possible complications that may arise from the investigation
- Bleeding may occur from a biopsy site, or where a polyp has been removed.
- Anaesthetic risk - reaction to the sedatives or anaesthetic used, complications from heart or lung disease, localised irritation of the vein used for injection may cause a tender lump lasting for several weeks. Applying heat packs or hot, moist towels may help relieve discomfort.
- All attempts are made to protect teeth however it is possible for teeth or crowns to be damaged during the procedure.
- Major complications, e.g. perforation (a tear that may require surgery for repair) are very uncommon, but is 1 in 100 if a dilatation is performed.
It is important for you to recognise early signs of any possible complications.
- If you develop fever after the test,
- Experience trouble swallowing,
- Experience increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain,
Let your doctor know about it promptly or contact your local Emergency Department.
You can find more information on risks associated with colonoscopy and gastroscopy here.