Gastroscopy is a diagnostic endoscopic examination that examines the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the duodenum. It is considered a minimal invasive procedure, as it does not require an incision in the body and does not require significant recovery after the procedure.

 The examination is usually performed after the intravenous administration of special drugs that cause sedation under the constant supervision of the patient’s vital cardiorespiratory parameters. In this way a calm and mainly painless and detailed examination for the patient is achieved. If the patient does not want sedation, the procedure can be well tolerated just with the use of a local anesthetic such as lidocaine gel.

 During the gastroscopy, the patients, who should be fasting for 6-8 hours, lies on their left side with their head resting comfortably on a pillow. An oral guard is placed between the teeth to prevent the patient from biting the endoscope. After the patient has fallen asleep, the endoscope is passed over the tongue into the oropharynx. Quick and gentle handling leads the endoscope to the esophagus. The endoscope progressively progresses to the esophagus noting any pathology. The endoscope then passes rapidly through the stomach and through the pylorus to examine the first and second portions of the duodenum. Once this is complete, the endoscope is withdrawn into the stomach and a more thorough examination is performed. During the examination, the surface (mucosa) of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum is thoroughly checked and additional procedures are performed, such as biopsies or therapeutic interventions. The air in the stomach is sucked in before the endoscope is removed.

Gastroscopy is a useful examination for

  • The diagnosis

  • Monitoring

  • Performing biopsies

  • Treatment

of various disorders and lesions of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Complications during gastroscopy are rare (<1 ‰).

Note: This article does not substitute a detailed discussion of the procedure with your gastroenterologist.