A gastroscopy is a test, which allows us to look at the lining of the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum. A gastroscope is a long flexible tube (similar in thickness to a little finger) with a bright light and video camera at the end. Biopsies are usually taken with forceps and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
The procedure in performed under general anaesthetic. Therefore, it should not cause discomfort or pain during the procedure. However, the patient may feel mild throat discomfort after the procedure. The procedure usually takes about 5-10 minutes.
To allow a clear view of the stomach, it must be completely empty so it is important that your child does not eat for at least 6 hours before the procedure, but they may drink clear fluids until two hours before the procedure.
Your child may need to stop antacids or anti-secretory agents a few days before the procedure, we will advise you on this.
After the test
Your child will return to the paediatric daycare ward to recover, where the gastroenterology consultant will discuss the findings with you. Your child can normally resume eating and drinking approximately 1 hour after the test. They may complain of a sore throat, but this should settle within a few days. Your child will be advised when to go home by the nurse.
Gastroscopy carries a very small risk of bleeding or perforation of the gut, which might require surgery. Other rare complication includes aspiration pneumonia.
Below is a short video that your child can watch to prepare him/her before they come to see us.