GASTROSCOPY

What is a gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy or endoscopy is done on an outpatient basis, which means hospital stay is not necessary. This procedure is done using a thin tube with a camera attached to the end, which presents images on a screen which allow Dr Muthambi to get a better view of the internal organs, in this case, the oesophagus, stomach and small intestine.

Why would a gastroscopy procedure be recommended?

This procedure may be needed and recommended if you are suffering from a gastrointestinal condition for which treatment has not worked. Issue such as difficulty swallowing, persistent stomach pain and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) or ulcers, blockages, growths and tumours. In order to better inspect the condition and find a more suitable treatment, a gastroscopy is used.

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How is it done?

The procedure is done by administering a numbing spray to the throat. After that, a thin tube is inserted through the oesophagus. Dr Muthambi may ask you to swallow to allow the tube to pass through the valve between the oesophagus and stomach. The tube is then moved through the gastrointestinal tract to view each part to diagnose and treat you accurately. Although uncomfortable, the procedure should only take 15 minutes to complete.

In some cases, you may be put under general anaesthesia for it. If this is the case, you will be kept for observation and once deemed ready, be able to go home as long as you have someone to drive you.

What are the potential risks and complications of a gastroscopy?

The risks during this procedure are rare, but the following can occur:

  • Perforation of the intestinal organs
  • Bleeding
  • Risks from general anaesthetic

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