A gastroscopy examination allows your doctor to look inside your upper digestive tract to investigate symptoms, confirm a diagnosis, and treat conditions of your stomach, oesophagus, or duodenum.
What is a gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy is typically a 15-minute outpatient procedure that allows your doctor to examine the lining of the upper section of your digestive tract. A long, thin, flexible tube with a camera and light source on one end, called a gastroscope, is passed into your mouth and travels down your oesophagus to your stomach and duodenum, to allow your surgeon to view these areas.
A diagnostic gastroscopy is performed to investigate problems such as persistent stomach pain, heartburn, indigestion, swallowing difficulties, or unexplained blood loss from your bowel. It helps to diagnose conditions including stomach ulcers, gastro-oesophageal-reflux-disease (GORD), coeliac disease, and Barrett's Oesophagus.
A small sample of your body tissue may be taken during a gastroscopy, called a biopsy, and sent for examination under a microscope to help diagnose and assess the severity of your condition.
A gastroscopy treats oesophagus, stomach and duodenum conditions such as bleeding ulcers, a blocked or narrowed oesophagus, non-cancerous growths called polyps, or small cancerous tumours. The procedure may take longer when treating a condition.
What is the difference between an endoscopy and a gastroscopy?
There is no difference between a gastroscopy and an endoscopy.
Endoscopy is a broad umbrella term used to describe the medical procedure of using a long, thin, flexible tube, called an endoscope, to look inside your body. There are several types of endoscopes to investigate different parts of your body.
A gastroscopy is a type of endoscopy. The flexible endoscope tube used for gastroscopy is called a gastroscope and is used to examine your upper gastrointestinal tract. A gastroscopy is also known as an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
How do I prepare for a gastroscopy?
To prepare for a gastroscopy you need an empty stomach so that your doctor can see clearly inside your upper gastrointestinal tract and prevent the chance of vomiting. You will be asked not to eat for six to eight hours and not to drink two to three hours before your gastroscopy procedure.
You should discuss with your doctor when to take your regular medicines, and any allergies or other medical conditions you have.
You’ll have a local anaesthetic spray to numb your throat and often a light sedative to help you feel relaxed and drowsy during the procedure.
What is the recovery process after a gastroscopy procedure?
If you have only had the local anaesthetic spray you can go home soon after your gastroscopy procedure.
If you have a sedative you will need to let its effects wear off and arrange for an adult to take you home and to stay with you for 24 hours.
You can eat and drink after a gastroscopy, but you should not drive, operate machinery, drink alcohol, go to work or be responsible for any dependents, sign legal documents, or take sleeping tablets for the next 24 hours.
What is the cost of a gastroscopy procedure?
The cost of a gastroscopy procedure will be based on whether you are an ambulatory or day case patient and the Ramsay hospital of your choice.
This guide package price is an estimate of the costs of your gastroscopy surgery. You will receive a formal quotation price following your consultation with one of our expert surgeons. This formal quote for your gastroscopy procedure will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.
We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your gastroscopy yourself. These include:
- Interest-free finance - requires no deposit, offers the ability to pay in monthly instalments, and benefits from 0% interest
- All-inclusive Total Care - a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price that delivers direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance
- Pay as you go – a flexible funding option if your treatment costs are difficult to assess, that allows you to meet your treatment costs as and when they arise.
Gastroscopy surgery is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to check with your insurance provider and obtain their written authorisation before starting your treatment.
Gastroscopy surgery at Ramsay Health Care
Here at Ramsay Health Care UK, we work in partnership with highly experienced specialist surgeons who routinely perform gastroscopy surgery to investigate symptoms and diagnose and treat conditions of the upper digestive tract.
Many of our hospitals have dedicated and purpose-built endoscopy units, the latest equipment for gastroscopy procedures, and have been awarded JAG accreditation for their high-quality gastrointestinal endoscopy services.
Patient safety is our primary concern and all of our hospitals follow strict protocols to control and prevent infection. Consultant-led care ensuring one point of contact, keeping in touch virtually, social distancing in our waiting areas and optimised patient flow around the hospitals, increased cleaning, and adequate PPE are measures that all of our Ramsay hospitals are taking to keep you safe during your visit.