Private Service, Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Liver), General Surgery
Gastroscopy allows examination of the upper part of your digestive tract i.e. oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (top section of the small intestine), by passing a gastroscope (long, flexible tube with a camera on the end) through your mouth and down your digestive tract. Images from the camera are displayed on a monitor screen. Sometimes a small tissue sample (biopsy) will need to be taken during the procedure for later examination at a laboratory.
Gastroscopy may be used to diagnose peptic ulcers, tumours, gastritis or any other abnormalities of the upper digestive tract.
Complications from this procedure are very rare but can occur. They include: false negative; bleeding if a biopsy is performed; allergic reaction to the sedative or throat spray; perforation (tearing) of the stomach with the instrument (this is a serious but rare complication).
What to expect
You are not able to eat or drink anything for 6 hours before your gastroscopy. When you are ready for the procedure, the back of your throat will be sprayed with local anaesthetic. You will also be offered medication (a sedative) that will make you sleepy and relaxed. This will be given via a leur in a vein in your arm or hand.
The gastroscopy will take approximately 15 minutes, but you will probably sleep for another short period of time. Staff will monitor you in the recovery area while you sleep off the effects of the sedative. You will be given a light snack before leaving the unit.
Because you have been sedated (given medication to make you sleep) it is important that you arrange for someone else to drive you home (it is illegal for you to drive) and stay with you the night of your procedure. You will be at Endoscopy Auckland for approximately 1.5 - 2 hours.
If biopsies are taken for examination, your GP will be sent the results in approximately 1 week.
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