In this procedure a telescopic camera is passed through the mouth and advanced down to visualise the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. Similar to a colonoscopy, a minor sedative is provided to the patient to ensure the operation is less invasive.
Typically, a gastroscopy is used to determine the cause(s) of unexplainable abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea or bleeding from the digestive tract.
Any polyps or growths that could potentially be cancerous can also be observed and samples taken for further testing.
Prior to a gastroscopy, no food or drink should be ingested for at least six hours prior to the procedure. If you are currently taking any medication for other ailments, it is important to notify your doctor / surgeon of this in case there are any implications with taking said medication during this six hour window.
Compared to a colonoscopy, the procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes and is done when the patient is sedated from a mild anaesthetic (delivered via an injection into the hand)
The throat maybe numbed with a spray to prevent the body’s natural gag reflex from occurring and a mouth guard is also required to prevent any involuntary ‘biting’ down on the apparatus.
The recovery time post-operation is very quick with most patients able to return home within two hours of the procedure’s completion. Due to the medication administered to induce sleep, it is not recommended that any patient gets behind the wheel, but has somebody collect them to drive them home.