How is a gastroscopy performed, and what can be expected during the procedure?Gastroenterology
My uncle has been schedule for a gastroscopy. May I find out what happens during the actual procedure, so I can explain to him what to expect?
Hi Yang Meng,
Thanks for the D2D. During the actual procedure, I always start by spraying a local anaesthetic to numb the back of the throat. The patient then lies on the left side, and I give medication through an intravenous line to put the patient to sleep.
Once the patient is adequately sleepy, I'll pass the gastroscope through the mouth into the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum (it's the first and shortest segment of the small intestine).
The gastroscope is a long thin flexible tube with a camera and light source at the end. The tube is about the same diameter as my little finger, and can pass through the different areas with ease.
I'll examine the various parts of the upper digestive tract and document pictures of the various landmarks according to the accepted international standard. If necessary, I will obtain tissue biopsies or performed endoscopic treatment through the gastroscope.
Most of my standard diagnostic gastroscopy is completed within 15 minutes. Throughout the procedure, I add doses of sedating or ‘sleeping’ medication as necessary to ensure that the patient is just sufficiently asleep and comfortable.
This avoids giving too much sedating medication, which in turn minimizes the side effects and complications. Over 95% of my patients will wake up within the hour after gastroscopy, and can resume normal activity.
Obviously, complex and advanced endoscopy cases take more time and are done differently. Prior to such cases, I will counsel the patient on the differences from standard gastroscopy so that they will know exactly what to expect. Hope this helps!
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