We provide a first-class gastroscopy service to diagnose conditions affecting the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.
A gastroscopy involves a long, thin, flexible tube called an endoscope being passed down your throat to look inside your oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum).
It’s also sometimes called an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
At the end of the tube are a camera and light that allow your consultant to look for anything that doesn’t look normal in these parts of your body.
This helps them to diagnose any conditions you may have or identify something that’s causing you discomfort.
Your consultant can also attach tiny surgical instruments to the end of the endoscope to remove polyps (small clumps of cells), stop bleeding and treat certain conditions.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
Your consultant may recommend a gastroscopy to you if you’re experiencing symptoms including:
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Acid reflux
- Persistent sore throat
- Chronic cough, especially at night
- Chest pain which is unrelated to heart problems
- Vomiting, especially if there is blood
- Swallowing difficulties
- Bleeding, in particular black or tarry blood in your poo
Your consultant will perform your gastroscopy as an outpatient procedure. This usually means you won’t need any medication to make you feel calmer or reduce discomfort.
However, if you are worried about the procedure, we’ll offer you medication, such as a sedative, to help you feel more relaxed.
Your consultant may also spray local anaesthetic in the back of your mouth to numb your throat.
They’ll then insert a long, thin, flexible tube (endoscope) into your mouth. They may ask you to swallow to help the endoscope pass down your throat. You shouldn’t feel any pain at this point.
The tube is passed down your oesophagus (food pipe), into your stomach and through to the duodenum, which is the upper part of your small intestine.
There is a small camera on the end of the endoscope that sends high-quality images to a computer screen.
The London Clinic’s experienced endoscopists can use these images to inspect the whole of the upper part of the digestive system for ulcers, bleeding, growths and inflammation.
During the gastroscopy, your consultant may use a range of surgical instruments to:
- Take a sample of body tissue (biopsy)
- Remove polyps (small clump of cells)
- Stop bleeding by cauterising (burning) tissue
- Open up the oesophagus if it’s become narrow
- Treat certain upper gastrointestinal conditions
A gastroscopy usually lasts less than 30 minutes, but this will depend on the amount of treatment you require.
Before your gastroscopy, you'll need to empty your stomach. This is to reduce the chances of you vomiting and to make sure your endoscopist has clear views of your stomach.
This means you should not eat for four to six hours before your procedure, so you won’t need to take any medication, such as a laxative, to empty your bowels.
If you normally take medication or supplements, your care team will also discuss with you if you need to stop taking these and the best times to do so.
If you haven’t had a sedative, you should feel fine after your gastroscopy and return to your normal activities after you leave The London Clinic.
However, if you have had a sedative, you’ll recover in our calming and comfortable Endoscopy Unit until you no longer feel sleepy or drowsy.
You’ll also need someone to travel home with you, and we recommend someone stays overnight with you as well.
We also advise that you don’t drink alcohol, drive, work or operate machinery for 24 hours, as you won’t be as mentally alert as usual.
Our world-leading gastroenterologists and endoscopists will work closely together to reduce any risk during a gastroscopy and support your safe recovery.
Rarely, problems caused by a gastroscopy include:
This is more likely to happen if body tissue or a polyp is removed during the procedure. The bleeding usually stops naturally, but on rare occasions you may need an operation to stop the bleeding.
Damage or tears to your throat, oesophagus, stomach or duodenum
If this happens, you may need an operation to repair the damage.
Your consultant will be able to discuss what they have seen during your gastroscopy as soon as you feel able to chat.
They may also arrange an appointment to discuss the results of tests carried out on any body tissue removed during your procedure.
These results are usually available in three to four working days.
At this appointment, your consultant will also explain your diagnosis, discuss your treatment options and chat through any worries you may have.