Also known as an endoscopy, a gastroscopy is used to diagnose a variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Straightforward and painless, over a million procedures are performed in the UK each year.

So, why might you need a gastroscopy? And what can you expect from the procedure? Find out everything you need to know in this useful blog.

Why might you need a gastroscopy?

Your digestive system runs from your mouth, all the way down to your back passage. This long and complex system can be affected by a wide range of conditions that aren’t always easy to spot. A gastroscopy helps doctors to diagnose these conditions, ensuring you get the treatment you need to fix them.

A gastroscopy involves inserting a long thin tube with a tiny camera attached, through the mouth and into the throat. Just some of the reasons you may be recommended to undergo the procedure include:

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Long-term stomach pain

The procedure gets to the bottom of any digestive issues you are having, helping to identify the best course of treatment.

How is a gastroscopy different from an endoscopy?

Technically a gastroscopy and endoscopy are the same thing. However, a gastroscopy is always inserted into the throat. An endoscopy on the other hand, can be inserted via the mouth or the anus. A gastroscopy is therefore a type of endoscopic procedure.

What to expect from a gastroscopy

Undergoing a gastroscopy can understandably be daunting for patients. However, the good news is that it is a quick, painless, and straightforward procedure.

A throat spray or sedation can be provided for maximum comfort as you will be kept awake while it is being carried out. The endoscope is then inserted into the mouth and down the throat. You’ll have no trouble breathing while it is being done as it isn’t inserted into the windpipe.

As the tube travels down the digestive tract, your doctor will be able to see everything that is going on. Gas is pumped into the stomach and the doctor may need to carry out a biopsy for further diagnosis.

The entire procedure isn’t painful, but you may feel some discomfort such as bloating from the gas pumped into the stomach. Complications are very rare but include bleeding and perforation.

What can you expect after the procedure?

Once the procedure has been completed, you will be taken into a recovery room to ensure you are well enough to return home. It is recommended you have somebody come and pick you up rather than trying to drive yourself home.

You may experience some difficulty while eating for a few days, so sticking to a soft diet will help. The results of the test will be provided usually within a few days.

If you need a gastroscopy to identify the cause of your digestive issues, book a consultation with Mr Woodward today.


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