Gastroscopy (Upper GI Endoscopy)

This page provides information about an Upper GI Endoscopy. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.

What is Upper GI Endoscopy ?

Sometimes referred to as a gastroscopy, an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is the process of using a flexible telescope to look inside your oesophagus (gullet), duodenum and stomach (see figure 1).

Figure 1
Upper GI endoscopy
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What are the alternatives?

An x-ray of your upper digestive system is another option, known as a ‘barium meal’. Detection of a germ that can cause ulcers in the stomach (helopbacter pylori) can also be found via a urea breath test.

What happens during the procedure?

Typically taking just 10 minutes, the endoscopist will place the flexible telescope, otherwise known as an endoscope, down into your stomach and into your duodenum, via the back of your throat. This will enable them to look for any issues – for example, ulcers or inflammation. It will also enable them to carry out biopsies and take images in order to confirm the diagnosis. If needed, a sedative could be offered to aid relaxation during the procedure.

Are there any complications that may arise?

  • Allergic reaction
  • Bleeding
  • Sore throat
  • Damage to teeth/bridgework
  • Infection
  • Incomplete procedure
  • Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
  • Puncturing a hole in the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum

When will I be able to go home?

Unless informed otherwise, you should be able to go back to work the next day and will recover about an hour after the procedure (if you were given a sedative). You could feel slightly bloated for a little while, but this will soon pass. The healthcare team will be able to inform you about anything they may have discovered during the endoscopy, and will go through follow-up treatments if needed.


References: EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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