Gastroscopy involves a flexible endoscope inserted into the mouth and down through the oesophagus into the stomach and small intestine.

What is a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy, also known as an upper endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in Singapore, is a medical procedure where a gastrointestinal specialist examines the oesophagus (the tube connecting the throat and stomach), the stomach, and the small intestine (duodenum). This procedure is performed using a thin, flexible instrument called an endoscope. It is a very common and safe procedure with minimal side effects.

During a gastroscopy, your gastrointestinal specialist can visualise part of your gastrointestinal tract and take the following steps for treatment or diagnosis, such as taking biopsies or samples for further testing. There are many reasons why a gastroscopy is performed. In general, these are the common reasons:

  • Ulcers: a gastroscopy helps diagnose and identify gastric and duodenal ulcers and monitor their healing.
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding: a gastroscopy can also determine the source of any bleeding in the gastrointestinal area. 
  • Tumours, polyps, and growths: if there are tumours or other growths in the upper gastrointestinal tract, a gastroscopy can help to detect and treat them or check if they are cancerous. 
  • Coeliac disease: a gastroscopy can help to diagnose coeliac disease by checking for duodenal lining damage and obtaining biopsies. 
  • Other conditions: medical conditions such as cancer or Barrett’s Oesophagus can be monitored or diagnosed through gastroscopy.
A gastroscopy investigates the cause of gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, and pain.

How does a Gastroscopy work?

Before a gastroscopy, the patient must refrain from eating and drinking for at least 8 hours. This ensures the stomach is empty, allowing a clear viewing of the gastrointestinal lining. Then, the patient is sedated to reduce discomfort during the procedure.

During the gastroscopy, an endoscope is inserted through the mouth and down the throat to the oesophagus and stomach. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube attached to a light and a camera on the end. It is hooked up to a monitor so your gastrointestinal specialist can view the inside of the upper gastrointestinal area.

An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube attached to a light and a camera on the end. It is hooked up to a monitor so your gastrointestinal specialist can view the inside of the upper gastrointestinal area.

Depending on the patient and their issues, a biopsy or sample may be taken for further testing. If polyps or ulcers are present, your gastrointestinal specialist will remove or treat them during the procedure. Once the gastroscopy is complete, the endoscope is removed, and the patient is monitored in a recovery area until they wake up from the sedation.

Benefits of a Gastroscopy procedure in Singapore

  • Allows for diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal issues
  • Safe and minimally invasive

What conditions can a Gastroscopy treat?

Although a gastroscopy is commonly done for diagnostic purposes, it can also treat several conditions if the cause of the problem is identified. These include: 

What results can I expect from a Gastroscopy procedure in Singapore?

The results from a gastroscopy depend on the individual and underlying health condition. Generally, you may feel groggy from the sedation after a gastroscopy. You may also experience temporary throat discomfort, which should resolve in a few days. Your gastrointestinal specialist will let you know the procedure results and the next steps.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be sent home the same day or may need to stay a few days in the hospital. You may also be required to return for a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress and determine your next course of treatment.

How many treatment sessions are needed?

It depends on the individual and diagnosis. Typically, only one gastroscopy is done at a time. However, further procedures may be required to monitor the progress or healing. A second gastroscopy may be required if symptoms do not resolve with medication or treatment. Your gastrointestinal specialist will discuss these options with you if necessary.

Frequently asked questions

A gastroscopy is considered safe and minimally invasive. However, there are some rare potential risks, such as bleeding, infection, perforation, or adverse reactions to sedation.
A gastroscopy procedure typically takes 10 to 15 minutes, but the total time spent, including preparation and recovery, may be longer.
Sedation is commonly used to minimise discomfort and relax the patient during the procedure.
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