A gastroscopy is a camera test that allows direct visualization of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small bowel). It can also be called an upper GI Endoscopy, or an OGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). A gastroscopy gives an excellent idea about what the upper gastrointestinal tract looks like. It is the best test available to diagnose esophageal and stomach cancers, and can also diagnose inflammation, ulcers and narrowing in the upper GI tract.
During the procedure if a polyp or abnormal tissue is found it can be removed by the doctor and tissue samples may also be taken for further analysis. Gastroscopy is a safe, effective means of diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions affecting the digestive tract.
Before the exam, you must have an empty stomach. No food or drinks should be consumed at least eight hours before the procedure. It is important to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor and notify him for any allergies, or medication you are taking or other medical conditions.
The gastroscopy can be done either after a local anaesthetic spray in the mouth, or the patient will receive a sedative to help stay relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. The doctor passes the endoscope (which is thinner than your little finger) through the mouth and into the esophagus.
The procedure takes between fifteen to thirty minutes. It is always reassuring to know what to expect from an examination before you actually go. Dr Papageorgiou will prepare you in advance and answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure.