Gastroscopy is a study that examines the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first section of the small intestine). Technically it is known with two terms: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or Upper Endoscopy.
A very small, high-definition camera is inserted through the mouth, located at the tip of a thin, flexible tube called an Endoscope.
What is Gastroscopy performed for?
It helps the doctor evaluate symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing. In the case of digestive bleeding, it allows us to find the cause and treat it; for example, making an ulcer stop bleeding.
It is used in patients with liver disease to detect varicose veins, which are a sign of cirrhosis. Detects gastric cancer and benign stomach tumors and allows biopsies to be taken to distinguish them. It is important to know that biopsies are obtained for many reasons and, one will likely be taken even if there is no suspicion of cancer. For example, you could use it to rule out the presence of Helicobacter Pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers.
The stomach must be empty, for this test to be successful. Therefore, the patient should not eat any solid food 8 hours before the test. Chamomile tea, water, or clear drinks can be drunk four hours before.
The person must be accompanied by a responsible adult. If he or she comes by car, the patient must have another driver to assist after the exam.
If the patient takes medications to treat other diseases, such as high blood pressure, do it 2 hours before the exam and with very little water. Medications for the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus must be taken after the procedure.
At the Navarro Digestive Clinic, all procedures are performed under adequate sedation, the patient is guaranteed that he or she will not feel any discomfort.
The person will recover from the effects of sedation in a recliner. It might feel a slight sore throat.
The doctor will inform of the results of the procedure. If a biopsy was taken, the result will be ready days later, as it requires laboratory work.
Although complications may occur, these rarely happen if the examination is performed by a doctor who specializes in digestive endoscopy.
Bleeding may occur where a biopsy was performed, or a polyp was removed, but it is generally minimal and rarely requires follow-up. Perforation or tearing of the lining of the intestinal tract may require surgery but is a rare complication.
Some patients may have a sedative reaction or complications from heart or lung disease.
Complications after gastroscopy are very rare. However, if you experience fever, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, chest or abdomen, or bleeding, including black stools, please contact the Navarro Digestive Clinic immediately.
Please note that bleeding may appear several days after the procedure. If you have questions, please contact the clinic staff, who are at your service.
Sources: Dr. Pablo Navarro and “American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy”