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What Is a Gastroscopy ?

Gastroscopy is an examination of the inside of the gullet, stomach and duodenum. It is a pre-requisite for various treatments and operations such as gastric bypass surgery. It is performed by using a thin, flexible fibre-optic instrument that is passed through the mouth and allows the doctor to see whether there is any damage to the lining of the oesophagus (gullet) or stomach, and whether there are any ulcers in the stomach or duodenum.

How is a gastroscopy performed?

Generally, no anesthesia is required for a gastroscopy, but many patients prefer to be heavily sedated since the examination can be quite uncomfortable. Patients are usually instructed to refrain from eating or drinking prior to the examination. In addition, any medical history should be shared with the healthcare providers, since there are some minor risks associated with the gastroscopy procedure. When sedation is used, it is not a full anaesthetic and the patient will still be conscious and aware. A nurse will lie the patient on their left side and the endoscopist will then gently place the end of the instrument into the mouth and ask the patient to swallow it, which feels like swallowing a large piece of food.

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