What is gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy is a diagnostic test during which a flexible tube with a “camera” at the end is inserted through the esophagus, the stomach and the first part of the small intestine.

What is the preparation for the procedure?
To perform the exam safely you need to have an empty stomach. Do not take food or drink (including water) within 8 hours prior to the exam.
It is advisable to inform your doctor about any medications you take, any allergies and medical conditions, such as heart disease or lung diseases.

Why do gastroscopy?
This test is performed to investigate some symptoms, such as pain, nausea, heartburn, difficulty swallowing.
During the procedure it is possible to perform biopsies that consist of the collection of tissue samples for the detection of infections and for the diagnosis of anomalous tissues that may reveal pathologies (such as celiac disease and pre-tumor or tumor lesions).
Therapeutic procedures may also be performed during gastroscopy such as distension of an area with a narrowing, removal of polyps (generally benign findings) or treatment of digestive bleeding.

During the procedure:
The doctor could spray a local anesthetic spray into the throat. During the procedure the patient remains lying on the left side. The endoscope is introduced into the digestive tract and does not interfere with breathing. The exam lasts 5-10 minutes.

After the procedure:
The patient is kept under medical supervision until the effects of the sedative have disappeared. The patient should be taken home and should not drive or make important decisions until the next day, as reflexes may be slowed down and the faculty of judgment may be compromised due to the sedative drug administered.

Complications for this test are rare (less than 0.05%). Perforation has a maximum frequency of 0.03% and is generally linked to the presence of particular anatomical conditions (esophageal stenosis, Zenker’s diverticulum, neoplasms). In the case of operative gastroscopies (dilation of stenosis, polypectomies, hemostasis of bleeding lesions, ligation of esophageal and / or gastric varices, placement of prostheses or nutritional probes) there is a greater risk of complications (0.5 – 5%).
Bleeding may occur at the point of biopsy or removal of a polyp, but this is often an irrelevant phenomenon, generally controllable by endoscopy, which in very rare cases may require surgery or a blood transfusion.
Some patients may have cardiorespiratory complications related to the use of sedatives, or complications due to cardiac or pulmonary conditions. Death is an extremely rare event in endoscopic procedures.