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What to Expect During Your Gastroscopy Procedure

Preparing for Gastroscopy

Prior to your gastroscopy procedure, you will be provided several pieces of patient information, including written instructions. The stomach and duodenum must be empty of food and liquids for the gastroscopy. You should not eat or drink after midnight the evening before your morning gastroscopy or at least 6 to 8 hours prior to the procedure if it is to be performed in the afternoon. Be sure to share any health conditions, allergies and medications you are taking with the physician or staff member preparing you for your procedure. You should discuss with your physician which of your medications should be taken (with a small amount of water) in the morning of your gastroscopy. It is generally advised that all blood pressure or heart medications should be taken first thing in the morning of your examination. .

During the Gastroscopy Procedure

Your gastroscopy procedure will be performed at the Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy and Colonoscopy, LLC (ACE), which is an outpatient ambulatory endoscopy facility. You will be asked to wear comfortable clothing and you will be escorted to a private dressing room to change into a hospital gown. A sedative will be administered though an IV catheter placed in a vein in your arm or hand. The anesthesia will be administered by a staff Anesthesiologist who will monitor your vital signs before, during and after the procedure. This will help you remain calm and relaxed during the procedure. A local liquid or spray anesthetic may also be administered to your throat to calm or relieve the gag reflex. You will lie on your back or left side and the endoscope will be carefully inserted through your mouth and down your esophagus. A video camera provides constant images of the lining of your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Air may be pumped or puffed into your stomach and duodenum making it easier to see the walls of these structures. During the procedure, the physician may take tissue biopsies, remove abnormal growths or cauterize ulcers to stop bleeding. Any tissue samples will be sent to a laboratory to allow a pathologist to perform a microscopic examination. The examination is typically completed within 15 minutes.

After the Gastroscopy Procedure

You will recover from the procedure in a recovery room. It may take an hour or so for the sedative to wear off. You may feel bloated or nauseous and some patients report a mild sore throat. Throat pain or discomfort may last a day or two but is not a common complaint. Your physician will visit with you when you are awake to share the immediate results with you. You may be shown photos or videos captured during the procedure. Any tissues biopsy results will be available in a few days. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours after your procedure. Otherwise, you will be allowed to return to normal routines upon returning home. Your physician or gastroenterologist will discuss future treatments or visits with you and will share results with your primary care physician or other specialists treating you. While gastroscopy is a safe procedure, it still involves some risks, including a reaction to sedatives, accidental puncture of the GI tract (less then 1 per 1000 cases reported), bleeding or problems swallowing. Discuss these risks with your physician and contact them immediately should you experience any possible side effects following your procedure. Patients generally report little or no ill effects following a gastroscopy.

Please contact ACE at  1.877.ENDOACE (877.363.6223) for a referral to one of our specialists.

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