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Gastroscopy is a procedure where a gastroenterologist inspects the lining of the oesophagus (Food pipe), the stomach and the first part of the small intestine, also known as the duodenum. This is achieved by using a long flexible tube that has a light and a video camera at the tip, known as a gastroscope. The images are transmitted on a monitor.

The gastroscope is put down from the mouth, oesophagus and stomach into the duodenum. The lining is visually examined and small samples (biopsies) are taken for further tests.

On the day of the procedure:

  • An empty stomach is required for a safe and accurate examination.
  • You will be informed (by our anesthetist) when to stop eating and drinking, or stop taking usual medicine depending on the time of day your procedure has been scheduled.
  • Most medicines can be taken as usual, how ever if you are unsure please speak to your child’s doctor/anesthetist.
  • A gastroscopy is performed under a general anesthetic, so your child will be asleep during the whole procedure. For details of the anesthetic please read the attached brochure.
  • The procedure takes about 15 – 30 minutes.

What happens after gastroscopy?

  • After the procedure your child/you will be watched in the recovery area for 1 or 2hours until medicines wear off.
  • Gastroenterologist would be able to briefly inform the results on the day of procedure. A follow up appointment would be made to discuss the results from any biopsies or samples taken as it may take several days to get results.
  • A light diet such as sandwiches, pasta, soups and jelly can be started. Full diet can be resumed once your child feels well enough.
  • Babies can start breastfeeding, drink formula or water as soon as they are awake from the procedure and indicated by the nurses.
  • Your child needs to rest for the remainder of the day following the procedure, but should be able to resume their normal activities the day after the procedure.
  • Discharge instructions as below should be carefully read and followed.

What are the risk or side effects?

Although complications can occur after a gastroscopy, they are rare when performed by doctors who are specially trained in gastroscopy. In Australia, very few people experience serious side-effects from gastroscopy.

  • Your/ child’s throat might be a little sore and might feel bloated due to the air introduced into your / child’s stomach during the procedure.
  • A small amount of blood might be seen in your child’s saliva after gastroscopy.However, very rarely blood in the vomiting or black tar-like stools could indicate major bleeding.
  • In very rare situations lining of the stomach could be torn that may require an operation to repair it.
  • Reactions to sedative are also possible, but again are very rare.
  • In very few cases, if the gastroscopy could not be successfully completed it may need to be repeated.

You may administer some pain relief such as paracetamol every 4 to 6 hours for one to two days if needed. Read the bottle for correct dose for your child according to the age. Ask someone if you need help.

Do not give any medicine with paracetamol in it more than four times in 24 hours.

When do I seek help?

If you / your child has following symptoms in the hours or days after the gastroscopy you should contact the rooms or proceed to the closest emergency department.

  • Vomited more than 2 to 3 times
  • Vomit with more than 2 to 3 mls. (half teaspoon) of bright red blood in it
  • Passing black tar like stools
  • Fever (Temperature above 38 degrees Celsius)
  • Increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Any other symptoms that causes concern

Who can I contact if have any questions?

Please contact the rooms on 1300-742-787 during weekdays .

After hours proceed to the closest emergency department or your family doctor. In an emergency contact the ambulance service by calling triple zero (000).