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How To Make Your Gastroscopy Feel Like A Picnic

Updated on July 29, 2008

Things to know about before your gastroscopy

Gastroscopy is also called upper GI (gastro-intestinal) endoscopy. This investigation is helpful for upper abdominal pain, heartburn, upper abdominal distension, problems with swallowing, vomiting, belching and suspected upper gastrointestinal (gut) bleeding.

To prepare for the test, you need to fast for six hours. It is also important that you tell your doctor or other health professionals attending you about the medications that you take and allergies. You also need to inform that about your past and present medical illnesses. Some medications and medical conditions can make the procedure more difficult, or even dangerous for you, if your medical attendants are not informed. Problems with past operations or anesthesia are also essential information to make your procedure smoother and safer.

On the day of your procedure, you will be asked to change into a gown. You will be placed on an operating table which can be elevated or lowered. Your attendants will assist you to lie on your left side. They will put up a needle for intravenous access in your arm. Through this, sedative drugs will be given to make the procedure easily tolerable to you. The drugs often also make you forget the process of the procedure as well, which is a plus. They will also put plastic clips on your finger and blood pressure cuffs on your arm to monitor your blood pressure, pulse rate and blood oxygen content. The next step is to have your throat sprayed with a local anesthetic. This often leaves a spicy, stinging sensation before it numbs the throat. Your doctor then puts a flexible endoscope into your throat and instructs you to swallow. This is often the last thing that you’d remember before finding yourself slowly waking up thirty minutes later.

When you wake up, the procedure would have finished minutes ago. Your doctor will examine you briefly and explain to you the essential findings. You will be allowed to go home when you are completely clear-headed, or sooner if you have a responsible escort. You should refrain from driving, operating machinery and making important legal (e.g. buying yourself a business), commercial (e.g. buying a property) or social (asking your partner to get marry you) decisions while still under residual influence of the sedative medications.

Your doctor will instruct you on further medications and time to return for follow up.

Benson Yeung's related hub: Difficulty Swallowing Is Always A Significant Symptom


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