Gastroscopy is an examination which enables the doctor to directly view the mucous membrane of the stomach, the pylorus and the duodenum. The examination is performed with the use of an endoscope, a flexible tube equipped with a video camera which allows to view the image of the inside of the patient’s gastrointestinal tract on a colour screen. An important benefit of the endoscope is the ability to evaluate the state of the mucous membrane as well as to collect a small sample of the tissue which is suspected to have lesions for further procedures, and all this during only one procedure.
Additional examinations are not necessary (unless the doctor orders otherwise).
Preparation for the examination:
- Eight hours before the examination you should not eat anything.
- Four hours before the examination you should not drink anything, smoke tobacco, chew gum.
- Administration of an antibiotic directly before the examination can be necessary in patients with medical risks, including patients with artificial heart valves, after an endocarditis, with vascular prosthesis or with high leukopenia. The decision on the necessity and the manner of administering the antibiotic is taken by the referring doctor.
- The examination cannot be performed without a written consent of the patient. Before the examination all dentures must be removed.
Course of the examination:
Before introducing the endoscope, the doctor or the nurse anaesthetizes the patient’s throat by using an appropriate anaesthetic throat spray. In order to alleviate unpleasant symptoms during the examination it is advised to concentrate on calm and deep breathing. The correct rhythm of the breath makes the examination easier to handle for the patient and enables the doctor to examine the gastrointestinal tract more precisely.
After the examination:
- Two hours after the examination you should not eat or drink anything, or smoke tobacco.
- If anaesthetics and/or hypnotic drugs were used, it is contraindicated to drive for a few hours after the examination.
It is possible to conduct this examination under short-term general anaesthesia. The referring doctor can verify whether there are no counterindications to perform the examination under general anaesthesia. Preparation for the examination is identical.
Examination under general anaesthesia
This examination can be performed under general anaesthesia. After administering a sedative drug intravenously, the patient falls asleep for a dozen or so minutes and wakes up after the examination is finished. It is a shallow anaesthesia and it does not require the insertion of an intratracheal tube.
After the examination is finished, you can eat only after a period of time determined by the anaesthesiologist. When the examination is performed under general anaesthesia, you should ask your accompanying person to pick you up from the hospital after approximately two hours from the start of the examination. You should not drive for at least 12 hours after the anaesthesia.