Is the examination of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum by a flexible tube that transmits pictures to a TV-type monitor. We can see the lining of the upper gut, take biopsies, remove polyps or inject blood vessels or ulcers that may be bleeding. If the gullet is narrowed it can be stretched via the endoscope. It is done after you have been given sedation to make you sleep. You can breathe normally through your nose and around the tube. It is a day procedure; you cannot drive until the next day.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ENDOSCOPY/GASTROSCOPY?
Endoscopy is a safe procedure but to be well informed you need to know the risks of a serious complication are around 1 to 10000. Some temporary, minor throat pain may be felt afterwards and the stomach will be bloated as air is put in to distend or “open” the stomach so that the lining can be seen. Serious complications like perforation of the gullet/oesophagus are approx 1 in 10000 that may be higher if there is underlying disease. Inhaling stomach contents and developing pneumonia can occur in well below 1% of cases. Damage to dental work is possible. If you have any concerns or doubts you must see me in consultation and also the Doctor looking after your underlying illness e.g. cardiologist or neurologist.