Oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (gastroscopy for short) enables a doctor to directly view the interiors of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Thin and flexible optical instrument (gastroscope) is introduced through the mouth. First, oesophagus is examined and then follows the inspection of stomach and duodenum. Endoscopic examination of the upper digestive system is by far more accurate than a contrast X-ray examination. Gastroscopy will be conducted by a qualified doctor, specialist gastroenterologist.
At least 6-8 hours before the examination you should not eat or drink. If you are hypersensitive to medications or local anaesthetics, if you have a serious disease, haemophilia, or if you are prone to extensive bleeding after minor injuries, please tell this to your doctor.
Prior to the procedure, your pharynx will be numbed with a local anaesthetic. In order to protect the endoscope against biting, we will insert a mouthpiece in your mouth. While you are lying on your left side, the doctor will introduce the endoscope. To better see the examined tissue, air will be blown through the endoscope tube, which may cause a sensation of abdominal fullness. You can breathe normally throughout the procedure, and you will not feel pain, but irritable feeling in your pharynx and retching may occur. The procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes.
Biopsy: Using tiny biopsy forceps we take a tissue sample for further testing, or remove a tiny polyp. The tissue sample is then examined under a microscope (histology) to determine the precise nature of the abnormalities. The procedure is painless, there are virtually no complications.
Polypectomy: it is the removal of a polyp. It is done by introducing a snare through the endoscope tube, tightening the snare around the polyp and cutting it off by passing electric current through the snare loop to cut through the polyp completely. The removed polyp is retrieved for histological examination. The procedure is painless. It is performed only by prior arrangement, which ensures that a patient can stay at the Centre for a one-day observation. Other endoscopic procedures include: haemostasis of ulcers or ruptured blood vessels, vasodilation, removal of foreign bodies.
Complications are extremely rare in gastroscopy. Perforation may occur – a puncture in the wall of digestive system (by endoscope or after polypectomy), which requires surgery. Bleeding may mainly occur after the removal of a polyp, but it usually stops spontaneously; other interventions are seldom needed. Other complications occur even more rarely.
We will notify you about test results and prescribe treatment (if necessary). The numbness in the larynx lasts on average for half an hour, during which time you should not drink and eat. Slight pain in the throat will pass by itself, as well as the abdominal tension or cramps. If prior to the examination you were given a sedative, you may not drive the car that day. Your doctor will receive the histology report in a few days.
In the case the examination or surgery is followed by the following symptoms, you must immediately consult your doctor:
- severe chest pain behind the sternum or in the abdomen, stiff abdomen,
- blood in vomit or black sticky mud, dizziness, collapse,
- fever and/or hypothermia.