A gastroscopy, also known as an upper endoscopy, is a test to check on the upper digestive system, including the insides of oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
Who should come for a gastroscopy?
You may require a gastroscopy if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Persistent discomfort or pain in the stomach area
- Persistent indigestion and heartburn
- Bloating after meals
- Feeling of fullness even after small meals
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vomiting of blood or having blood in the stools
How to prepare for a gastroscopy
You will be required to fast before your gastroscopy. This is to ensure your stomach is empty during the procedure, allowing it to be visualised clearly. If your stomach is not cleared completely, the doctor will not be able to get a complete view of your stomach. In such cases, you will need to reschedule your gastroscopy.
What happens during a gastroscopy?
You will be sedated, and a light anaesthetic will be sprayed to numb your throat and prevent gagging, as well as any potential discomfort.
A small endoscope is used to examine your esophagus, stomach, and part of the duodenum. If needed, a biopsy of the lining of the stomach may be taken to test for bacterial infection (Helicobacter Pylori) or to exclude cancer. The procedure usually takes about 10 minutes.