Gastro-intestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, dyspepsia, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, anemia and to investigate for a hiatus hernia.
Your throat will be sprayed with a topical anaesthetic spray. You will be sedated for the procedure, which involves the anaesthetist inserting a plastic cannula into a vein on your arm (like a drip) and administering the sedative medication intravenously (via your vein). This means you will be asleep for the entire duration of the procedure. A flexible scope with a camera is inserted through the mouth into the stomach. During the investigation the surgeon examines your oesophagus (food-pipe) which runs from the back of your mouth, through your chest and into your stomach. The surgeon will also examine the first part of the intestine, called the duodenum (part of the small bowel). A specimen of the various areas of your gastric tissue may be biopsied and sent for laboratory testing to determine if there are any cellular irregularities of the tissue or the presence of ulcer-causing bacteria.
This is considered to be a minor procedure with only minor risks such as nausea, vomiting or allergies to the sedatives that are used. If the doctor is performing a procedure through the scope, such as dilating a narrowing in the oesophagus, removing a foreign body obstruction (i.e. a piece of meat that got stuck), removing a polyp, or injecting a bleeding ulcer, then there are other risks associated with the specific intervention or disease. These can be serious and include a perforation of the organ and possible necessitate corrective emergency surgery. This is very rare and occurs in 1 out of 1000 cases.
After your consultation:
- Obtain authorization from your medical aid (whether the scope is done in consultation rooms/theatre).
- Carefully read through pre-procedure information provided.
Day before gastroscopy:
- Do not eat/drink after 22h00, the night before your surgery, unless otherwise specified by your surgeon or anaesthetist (you should be fasting for at least 6 hours before the procedure for solids but you are allowed to take clear liquids up to two hours before your procedure).
Day of surgery:
- Arrive for admission at indicated time on ‘Code & Consent’ sheet.
- If your procedure will be done in theatre, change into theatre attire and remove all valuable belongings.
You will be in the procedure room for about 25-30 minutes. The scope itself will take 10-15 minutes (this is dependent on whether a procedure is done with/-out biopsies). You will need a few minutes to recover from the sedation afterwards in the recovery area.
The surgeon will usually see you after the procedure to explain the findings to you.
- A responsible adult should drive you home. Avoid driving, operating heavy machinery or taking any important decisions for 12 hours after the procedure.
- It is best to avoid alcohol consumption for 12 hours.
- Unless otherwise directed you may resume your normal diet after the gastroscopy.
- Wait until the day after the procedure before resuming your normal exercise routine.
Back to work:
- You can return to work the day after your procedure. A sick note will be provided for the day of the procedure. Please discuss with our rooms if you need a longer sick leave.
This is not expected unless you are having a specific procedure such as a dilation or stretching of a narrowing, or removal of a foreign body from the esophagus. In these cases pain medication is usually given with sedation and you may get a script for medication afterwards.
- Please contact the rooms to schedule an appointment to follow-up scope and biopsy results, at least 7 days after your procedure.