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What is Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy?

Endoscopy involves the use of a flexible video instrument (gastroscope) to examine the upper intestinal tract including the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. The procedure is commonly undertaken if your Doctor suspects that you have inflammation, ulceration or other abnormality of the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum.

How are you prepared?

You are to fast for six (6) hours before the procedure (no food, no fluid, no smoking). While fasting take all regular medication with a sip of water at least three hours prior to procedure.
If you have serious heart or chest problems or drug allergies, special precautions need to be taken to reduce any risk. You should therefore inform the doctor of any serious conditions of this nature.If you are diabetic, withhold your morning medication and bring it and a sandwich with you to take following the procedure.
At the beginning of the procedure you will be given a sedative by injection into a vein to make you comfortable and relaxed. The procedure will take between 5 15 minutes and you will be sleepy for about half an hour afterwards.

What we do

An endoscope is a flexible tube about 9mm (3/8") in diameter. It allows full colour inspection of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. It also enables biopsies to be taken from these areas if necessary.
You will be given time to recover from your procedure in an observed recovery area, followed by light refreshments.
The doctor will then talk with you and discuss his findings. He will give you written information and the necessary follow up. A detailed report of his findings will be sent to your G.P.


The doctor will:

  • Talk with you and discuss his findings
  • Give you a hand written report regarding your procedure and any follow up instructions
  • Send a detailed report to your doctor

Risks and complications

Gastrointestinal endoscopy is usually simple and safe. Very occasionally individual patients may have a reaction to the sedation or damage to the oesophagus at the time of examination. Such complications are extremely rare. However if you wish to have full details of all possible complications discussed before the procedure, you should inform your doctor.