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Medical Centre 6 Napier Rd.
Singapore 258499
Phone:+65 6476 0181 
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What is a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy is a specialized examination that allows your doctor to look inside your stomach for a complete evaluation of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum. It is also referred to as oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy or OGD for short. The gastroscope is a flexible tube about the thickness of your little finger with a camera and light source at the end. It contains 2 narrow channels to allow the endoscopist (doctor performing the gastroscopy) to suck out any fluid from the stomach and insert a grasping instrument to remove any polyps or take biopsy. The OGD is inserted from the mouth and carefully maneuvered through the oesophagus to the duodenum.
Why is gastroscopy done?
Gastroscopy helps your doctor evaluate symptoms of the upper digestive tract, such as difficulty swallowing, upper abdominal pain or bloating. If needed, treatment can also be performed through the gastroscope in some cases, at the same examination.
What do I need to do to prepare for gastroscopy?
You will receive instructions in advance to help you prepare for this test. You will need to abstain from eating solid foods for 6 hours, so that clear views can be obtained. However, you can still continue to drink clear liquids (such as black tea or soft drinks) up to an hour before the examination.
Please inform the clinic staff if you are taking any medication to prevent normal blood clotting, commonly called “blood thinners”. If you are taking strong “blood thinners”, the doctor cannot take samples from your stomach if needed as it would be difficult to stop the bleeding. Some common “blood thinners” we are worried about are Warfarin and Plavix.
What should I expect during gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy is done with you lying on your left side. A local anaesthetic is sprayed to the back of your throat to numb it. An injection of a sedative is usually given to make you relaxed and go into a light sleep. Your pulse and oxygen will be monitored throughout the examination. The gastroscope is gently introduced into the mouth and steered through the oesophagus into the stomach and duodenum. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes excluding preparation time. In some cases, it may be necessary to take a sample of tissue (biopsy) for examination.
What are the possible complications from a gastroscopy?
Complications are exceedingly rare in gastroscopy. The risk of bleeding or perforation is very rare because the stomach wall is thicker than the colon. The risk of either complication is lower than the risk in colonoscopy. Care will be taken to minimize discomfort and complications as far as possible. Patients may feel mild cramping, bloating or gas after the procedure which can last up to 24 hrs. The overall risk of perforation is less than 1 in 10,000 or 0.01%.
What can I expect after a gastroscopy?
After the procedure, you will be brought to the recovery area for monitoring and observation. You should not drive or operate machinery on the same day. For this reason, someone must be available to accompany you home. Your doctor will make an appointment for you to let you know the findings of the gastroscopy, answer any questions you may have, if needed, discuss future treatment.
What are your options?
An alternative test to gastroscopy would be a barium meal. Barium meal is an x-ray based test where a liquid contrast (barium) is swallowed and numerous x-rays are taken of the abdomen as the barium flows into the duodenum but this test is known to miss smaller cancers and biopsies cannot be taken either. Barium meal is usually employed when a patient refuses to undergo gastroscopy.
If you have feedback or would like to know more about treatment for these conditions, feel free to contact us or make an appointment.