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What is a gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy is the most effective diagnostic method of examining the upper digestive tract. This is an endoscopic test that is performed to directly observe the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum. During a gastroscopy, minor endoscopic treatment can also be carried out.A gastroscopy can be carried out only with the informed consent of a patient. This brochure has been designed to assist you in understanding how, and why the procedure is performed and what are the possible complications of this procedure.
Who should undergo a gastroscopy?
If your previous test results indicate the suspicion of oesophagus, stomach or duodenal disease, your doctor may send you for a gastroscopy, which is the most effective method of diagnosing the upper digestive tract. Moreover, during a gastroscopy a small sample (biopsy) may be taken should the need arise. Some of the reasons why a biopsy may be necessary are: suspicion of Heilcobacter Pylori infection, microscopic examination of an existing ulcer, polyp or mass.This procedure is of crucial importance for choosing future therapies. There are no other examinations of the oesophagus and stomach nowadays which would be equally as precise as a gastroscopy.
How is a gastroscopy performed?
You will be asked to lie on your left side. If you have false teeth (dentures), they will be removed before the procedure. The back of your throat will be sprayed with a local anaesthetic (lidocaine) to make it numb. A plastic mouthguard will be placed between your teeth to keep you from biting the endoscope. A gastroscope will be placed into your mouth and you will be asked to swallow it. The tube is about a centimeter in diameter, however, sometimes you may be gasping for air during the process of swallowing it. You should not go into panic then but breath slowly. A gastroscopy usually takes only a few minutes. It does not usually hurt, but it can be uncomfortable. A biopsy is also painless. The gastroscope is disinfected with specialist equipment prior to each examination. The samples of the mucous membranes for biopsy are taken with the sterile forceps
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