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Gastroscopy — Highfields Gastroenterology in Port Macquarie, NSW
Gastroscopy (or Endoscopy) is a medical procedure used to look for disease in the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It can help discover the reasons for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain or chest pain.

For the procedure to be thorough and safe, your stomach and duodenum must be empty. You will not be able to eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours beforehand.

Just before the procedure, the anaesthetist will administer a strong sedative so you can sleep through the whole procedure.
Your gastroenterologist will insert an endoscope—a thin, flexible, lighted tube—into your throat. The endoscope will transmit an image of the inside of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum, which allows your physician to carefully examine the lining of these organs:
  • To look for abnormalities, such as inflammation or bleeding that do not show up well on x-rays
  • Insert instruments into the scope to treat bleeding abnormalities or remove samples of tissue (biopsy) for further tests
Bleeding and puncture of the stomach lining are possible, but these complications would be rare. Most people experience only a mild sore throat after the procedure.

An endoscopy usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes. As you would be sedated for the procedure, you would need to rest at the endoscopy facility for one to 2 hours until the medication wears off. Most importantly, have someone else drive you home.

Note: Your physician may give you other special instructions.