Gastroscopy is a procedure that examines the lining of the oesophagus, stomach and part of the duodenum (part of the small intestine), and is therefore able to diagnose diseases of the oesophagus and stomach.
This procedure uses a highly advanced flexible tube called the gastroscope. The gastroscopy has a light source and a tiny high-definition video camera attached at its end.
The doctor will insert this tube through your mouth and guide it down your oesophagus into your stomach and then into the duodenum. You will be given some drugs to make you sleep and hence you will be quite comfortable during the procedure. You may not even be aware of the procedure.
As the doctor inserts in the gastroscopy, he will be watching a monitor. The images from the camera are transmitted and magnified onto a hi-definition monitor. This allows the doctor to see the inside of your oesophagus and stomach, including very small abnormalities due to the magnification.
Besides diagnosing diseases, the gastroscope can be used for treating certain problems.
Some of the common symptoms or problems that will cause the doctor to recommend a gastroscopy includes:
Gastroscopy is a very safe procedure. Nonetheless, although very rare, complications can occur. The overall complication rate is about 1 in 1000 patients
The estimated cost for a standard diagnostic gastroscopy is divided into 2 components
For Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, Medisave may be used to pay part of or all of the bill (conditions apply). As for patients wishing to claim from their health insurance policies, it is best to enquire with your insurance agents first.
We have a detailed write-up on the cost of endoscopy in Singapore on our website.
A gastroscopy evaluates the inner linings of the oesophagus, stomach, and first portion of the small intestine (known as the duodenum).
If biopsies (samples of tissue) were taken during the gastroscopy, the results will take between 3-5 working days.
During a gastroscopy, the patient will usually be sedated.
During the gastroscopy, an inspection of the throat area is usually done as well. However, if one would like to have a thorough examination of the throat, a detailed assessment by an ENT (Ear Nose & Throat) Specialist is preferred.
A gastroscopy will generally reach the second part of the duodenum.
There is usually no food restriction after a gastroscopy as long as the patient is fully awake from the sedation.
Gastroscopy may be recommended when a patient has the following symptoms:
A gastroscopy and a colonoscopy can be done in sequence in the same sitting (during the same sedation episode).