What is a Gastrocopy?

A Gastroscopy is an examination of the lining of the oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum). The procedure is performed using an endoscope, a telescope-like instrument with a tiny camera attached to the end that is passed gently down your oesophagus and allows the doctor to closely examine the insides. The doctor can also use this instrument to take tissue samples and perform other minor surgical procedures. The examination can take from 5 to 15 minutes, and is performed while you are under deep sedation. You will not have to actively swallow the camera.

In rare cases (probably less than 1/10,000 procedures) a perforation or tear of the stomach, oesophagus or duodenum can occur. This is a serious complication and usually requires an operation to correct the problem. Should you have any concerns as to the risk of this occurring please do not hesitate to discuss it with your doctor. You will have a chance to discuss the procedure with your Gastroenterologist on the day and you will then be asked to sign a consent form to proceed with Gastroscopy.


For a morning Gastroscopy

  • No solid food after midnight.
  • Can have some clear liquid (water, apple juice) with any essential medications up to 2 hours before your admission time.
  • No chewing gum, ice or lollies to suck within 2 hours of your admission time.

For an afternoon Gastroscopy

  • Light breakfast before 7am.
  • Usual morning medications can be taken.
  • Clear fluids (water, apple juice) can be consumed up until 2 hours before your hospital admission time.
  • No chewing gum, ice or lollies to suck within 2 hours of your admission time.

Following the Gastrocopy

You will be sleepy for a short while after the procedure due to the anaesthetic you are given. The endoscopy nurses will look after you until you are ready to leave, and you may eat and drink once you are fully awake. The sedative may affect your judgement for at least 12 hours following the procedure. You must not drive or operate machinery during this time. Alcohol should be minimized and a responsible adult should be available to take you home.

You will get the results of the procedure before you go home and your referring doctor will receive a copy of the report a few days later. Consider making an appointment to see them to discuss the results and further management.

Occasionally people report feeling heartburn type symptoms transiently after the procedure and in rare cases notice a sore throat afterwards. This will usually settle quickly and can be treated with Paracetamol tablets or salt water gargles.