What does the examination involve?

  • The nurse or endoscopist will discuss with you a local anaesthetic spray (numbing) on the back of your throat; this has a bitter taste. You can also have an injection of sedation into a vein in your hand or arm to help you relax.
  • If you wish to have sedation; A small needle will be placed into a vein. The needle is then removed leaving a small plastic tube. A sedative and/or painkiller will be injected before the examination. This will make you feel relaxed but rarely induces sleep. (This will be left lightly taped to your hand/arm until you are recovered from the procedure then removed after the procedure is completed).
  • A small device for recording pulse and breathing called a finger probe will be attached to your finger and you will be given oxygen using a tube placed up your nose.
  • A cuff will be placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure (please inform the nurse if there is a reason why a certain arm cannot be used).
  • Then, while you are lying on your left side, a small mouthpiece will be placed in your mouth and if you are having sedation you will be given oxygen via tubes placed up your nose.
  • The endoscopist will gently insert the gastroscope into your stomach. This is not painful and will not make breathing or swallowing difficult, but you may feel like retching and feel uncomfortable during the test.
  • The stomach will be gently inflated with air to expand it so that the lining can be seen more clearly. The air is sucked out at the end of the test.
  • A biopsy (a small sample of the stomach lining) may be taken during the examination to be sent to the laboratory for more tests. You cannot feel this. (A video recording and/or photographs may also be taken).
  • The nurse may need to clear saliva from your mouth using a small suction tube.
  • Afterwards the gastroscope is removed easily.

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