Many patients who have a referral to gastroenterology may need to have a gastroscopy. Dr Haidry performs many of these procedures every year and provides patients with the treatment they need dependent on the results. Gastroscopy can be used in different ways to investigate, diagnose, and treat a variety of intestinal conditions. Here we’re looking more closely at how an gastroscopy may be used.

What is a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy uses a thin, flexible tube, called an endoscope or gastroscope, to investigate symptoms in the upper gastrointestinal tract. This includes gullet, stomach, and small intestine.  Endoscopes feature a light and camera which transmit images back to the monitor so the doctor can view detailed pictures and decide on the best course of action.

Gastroscopy procedures often use local anaesthetic to numb the throat or there is the option for sedation if the patient is particularly nervous or anxious. The endoscope is placed at the back of the mouth, and you will then need to swallow the tube so it can be fed down into your oesophagus, as well as down into the stomach and duodenum. It can be uncomfortable, but it is not a painful process.

Before any procedure is carried out, you will have the chance to ask any questions. Your doctor will provide all the information you need beforehand.

What are Gastroscopy used for?

Gastroscopies investigate the upper gastrointestinal tract if you are suffering from a range of unexplained symptoms. It can also used for diagnosis and to take biopsies to carry out further tests. It can even be used for some treatments.

Investigative Gastroscopy

Investigations via gastroscopy may be able to uncover the issue behind symptoms such as:

  • Swallowing problems
  • Abdominal pain
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood in your faeces or vomit
  • Unexplained anaemia

Diagnostic Gastroscopy

The procedure can be used to confirm or rule out conditions including:

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • Hernia
  • Barrett’s oesophagus
  • Portal hypertension
  • Coeliac disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Oesophageal and stomach cancer

Treatment via Gastroscopy

You can also receive a number of different treatments via this procedure including:

  • The removal of tumours, foreign objects, and polyps
  • Stopping bleeding associated with enlarged veins or stomach ulcers
  • The widening of a narrowed oesophagus (often the cause of GORD).

Dr Rehan Haidry is a highly experienced endoscopist and gastroscopy is a key tool used regularly to treat patients. If you’re experiencing any uncomfortable symptoms you can get in touch and arrange an appointment for further investigation and treatment.

Image via Dana Hamers, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons