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What is a gastroscopy (upper GI endoscopy)?

A gastroscopy is often referred to as an endoscopy.

'Endoscopy' is an umbrella term that describes all types of investigations that are done in the digestive system using an endoscope (a long, thin, tube with a minute video camera at one end which can relay images or video taken inside the body).

An overview of gastroscopy

A gastroscopy is usually done to investigate symptoms so that an accurate diagnosis can be made. You may be advised to have a gastroscopy if you have:

  • Chest pain that has nothing to do with your heart
  • Problems with acid reflux, heartburn, a persistent sore throat, cough or asthma
  • Vomiting, especially if it contains blood
  • Problems with swallowing

These can be due to:

  • An inflamed oesophagus
  • A peptic ulcer in the stomach or the duodenum
  • Inflammation of the duodenum
  • Inflammation of the stomach
  • A tumour in the oesophagus, stomach or small bowel
  • Rare conditions, such as polyps and other abnormalities in the small bowel.

Having a gastroscopy: what to expect

Before your gastroscopy you will need to have an empty stomach, which probably means not eating on the day of the procedure. You will not need a laxative.

At The London Clinic, you can choose to have sedation during a gastroscopy. Most patients opt for this as it makes the procedure easier and more comfortable especially when the gastroscope is passed into their throat.

The whole procedure is completed in under half an hour. If you have had sedation, you will need to recover for a while until you no longer feel drowsy. You should have someone drive you home, or accompany you home, and ideally stay with you until the next morning.

We advise patients not to drink alcohol, use machinery or make important decisions until 24 hours after having sedation. If you do not have sedation, you will be back to normal almost immediately.

Results from a gastroscopy

At The London Clinic, our leading gastroenterology consultants perform gastroscopies and will be able to discuss their visual findings as soon as you feel able. If biopsies are sent to our laboratories for analysis results can usually be expected within a few days.

You may then have a consultation to discuss all of your results, to find out about your diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options.

Appointment enquiries: +44 (0) 20 3944 1073 Concierge service: +44 (0) 203 219 3323 Self-Pay service: +44 (0) 203 918 7301International office: +44 (0) 203 219 3266 Invoice and payment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7708 General enquiries: +44 (0) 20 3918 9135

Breast services appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653 Diagnostics appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653 Endoscopy appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7760 Eye centre appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7768 Haematology appointments: +44 (0) 207 535 5503 Kidney services appointments: +44 (0) 207 224 5234 Liver services appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7719 Physiotherapy appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7651 Radiology appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653

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