A gastroscopy is a procedure that enables your doctor to examine the lining of the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). After administering a gentle sedation, a thin flexible endoscope (tube with a camera) is passed through your mouth into your stomach and duodenum. The doctor will make a careful inspection and depending on the reasons for your procedure, tissue samples (biopsies) may be taken. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.
What Preparation is required?
For a well tolerated, safe and successful procedure, you will need to follow some dietary instructions. If you are only having a gastroscopy, will be asked to follow the GASTROSCOPY instructions or if you are having a colonoscopy at the same time, you will need to follow the COLONOSCOPY instructions ONLY. Additional instructions will be given to you if you are taking blood thinning or diabetes medications.
What do I need to bring?
You will need to bring your health fund card and Medicare card. Please wear loose fitting clothing. You will need to change into a patient gown for the procedure. Any jewellery and valuables should be left at home.
What happens afterwards?
As you may be drowsy for several hours following the gastroscopy due to the sedation administered, a friend or family member needs to drive you home and stay with you till the next day. You must not drive until the following day, or operate heavy machinery or drive (with a commercial licence) for 24 hours afterwards. You can continue taking your regular prescription medications unless you have been informed otherwise.
Please contact your doctor if you experience any severe abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, fevers/chills, breathing difficulty, or any other symptoms you are concerned about. Alternatively, visit your local emergency department.
Is Gastroscopy safe?
Gastroscopy is considered a very safe and well-tolerated procedure. At GastroNorth, we are committed to your safety. We only perform procedures in high quality centres and use specialist anaesthetic doctors to care for you during the procedure. We focus on the most effective yet safe techniques.
Some people may get temporary bloating or abdominal discomfort however, this usually passes soon after. Most people feel drowsy after the sedation and occasionally experience nausea or light-headedness.
Complications with gastroscopy are rare but do include the risk of :
- Aspiration (stomach contents entering airway): uncommon < 1%
- Bleeding: uncommon < 1:500
- Infection – uncommon < 1%
- Teeth Damage – uncommon < 1:500
- Perforation (a hole in the gut wall) which may require surgery – very rare
If you wish to discuss the details of all possible rare complications, you should inform your doctor and/or anaesthetist prior to the procedure.
If you have any questions, please contact GastroNorth on 9468 9700.