A General Guide to Gastroscopy

Has your doctor recommended you to undergo a gastroscopic examination because of possible upper digestive issues such as reflux, gastritis or ulcers? If so, then it is essential to have a little knowledge about the procedure as this will keep you at ease. Though there are no reasons to worry, but always follow the instructions given by your doctor. This article will help you gain a proper understanding about gastroscopy.

What is gastroscopy?

This procedure involves the inserting of an endoscope (a small flexible tube with camera and light) into the stomach and duodenum to search for abnormalities. This tube is as thick as a little finger and is passed through the mouth. With the aid of a tiny video camera and light placed at the tip of the endoscope, an operator can easily see inside your gut.

Which conditions are confirmed with gastroscopy exam?

The conditions that can be confirmed or ruled out with gastroscopy exam include:

Oesophagus and stomach cancer

Coeliac disease

Oesophagitis -an inflammation of the oesophagus. With gastroscopy, an operator can actually see the areas of redness on the lining of an oesophagus.

Duodenal and stomach ulcers – appears like a red crater on the inside lining of the duodenum or stomach.

The inflammation of duodenum and stomach (duodenitis and gastritis) can also be detected with this exam.

Preparation for gastroscopy

Days in advance – If you have a history of heart attack or diabetes, make sure to consult with your physician prior the gastroscopy procedure. They will perform various tests and then inform you about the precautions as per your conditions. Moreover, it is always a good idea to keep aspirin like medicines such as Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen and Motrin at bay because they increase the risk of bleeding after polyp removal.

On the day of procedure – In case your procedure is set before noon, you are expected not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night prior. On the day, you should take the prescribed medicines at least two hours before your appointment. Do not use tobacco as this could affect your stomach lining’s natural colouring and it would be difficult for your doctor to detect the problem. If your procedure is set after noon, you are allowed to consume clear liquid breakfast such as tea, water, fruit juices or black coffee. Moreover, avoid wearing any jewelleries and tight fitting clothing.

After the procedure – You will generally be made to rest for a day or two, so that you can recover as soon as possible. However, if you come across any of the symptoms such as fever, vomiting of blood, difficulty in breathing, worsening abdominal pain or the allergic reactions including eye swelling, rashes or wheezing for prolonged time, make sure to consult your physician without giving it a second thought.

The best thing about gastroscopy is that you can get results within few minutes, unlike X-rays where you are required to wait for the reports to be developed and interpreted.

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