What is Gastroscopy, How is Gastroscopy Done and Why is it Done?

The world of science has generated ways to help in directing right treatment with the advancement of medical tests conducted for identifying root causes of the problem. Everyone is aware of the fact that gastrointestinal tract is an important part of the body, which succumbs to numerous infections. Being well connected with stomach and intestines, gastroscopy is a procedure conducted to diagnose problems associated with esophagus or stomach and intestines under the expertise of lab technicians and specialized doctors. As a perfect way to examine esophagus and stomach, it is powered to classify diseases with their problematic causes.

Gastroscopy – The How’s and Why’s

What is Gastroscopy?

It is a scientific term associated with a diagnostic test for identifying the health complications linked with abdomen as well as gullet. Indeed, gastroscopy is a functional examination that mandates for the expert to examine the lining of upper part of gastrointestinal tract. This may involve conducting experimental tests on oesophagus, duodenum and stomach. Conducted with a thin and flexible fibre optic instrument containing camera and a light passed via mouth, it enables the doctor to check the damages done to oesophagus or stomach.

What is Gastroscopy

Dating back to the 1800s, first gastroscopy was carried out by Adolf Kussmaul in 1868 by using a rigid metal tube over a flexible obturator. From that time, the science kept on developing and the procedure of doing gastroscopy became effortless. The patients having to undergo gastroscopy can be admitted to hospital one day in advance and sent home on out-patient terms; depending on the severity of the problem identified.

Why is Gastroscopy Done?

Basically stating, the procedure of gastroscopy is conducted for investigating the root-cause of stomach pain, vomiting sensations, bleeding in the digestive tract or carry out a specialized diagnosis to treat related problems. Apart from these issues, nausea and difficulty in swallowing can invite gastroscopic diagnosis. What makes this test mandatory is its ability to produce far more accurate results than Barium test or even X-rays to detect inflammation, tumors or ulcers. It is quite possible that the patients are made to take specific antibiotics before carrying out the gastroscopy process. Also, this procedure might be effective in curing non-severe diseases associated with stomach too. For this purpose, the doctor will pass on small equipment’s that might mend the wear and tear of tissues.

How is Gastroscopy Done?

At the initial level, doctor will discuss the procedure with patient and direct him to get admitted one day or a couple of hours prior to the main medical process. By asking the patient to lie down on the bed in examination laboratory, gastroscopy requires the endoscopist to spray local anaesthesia at the back of neck. Further to this, the nurse makes a patient lie on the left side and doctor gently places the end of the instrument in mouth. The patient is asked to swallow it, which gives impression of absorbing a big piece of food. At this time, the endoscopist fills the stomach with air to carry out the examination meritoriously. In fact, it is done to view the inside of stomach, duodenum and oesophagus.

What makes gastroscopy effective is its ability of not interfering with breathing. Generally, the procedure of gastroscopy is carried out for a period of 10 minutes. However, this may take a little longer; depending on the requirement of the need for treatment. Certainly, the process is helpful to doctors in examining mucous membrane of the stomach from various angles and check out the prevalence of wounds, inflammation and even the tumors. This procedure also allows a doctor to take pictures of the mucous membrane of stomach for studying the problem effectively. Along with this, a small piece of the tissue can also be taken to examine under microscope as a part of biopsy. With so many abilities, gastroscopy is a powerful way of taking excellent medical care.

What are the Post Gastroscopy Complications?

After completion of the process, patient is shifted to the recovery room and he or she can go home after 2 hours from the time the test is conducted. However, the person is required to take assistance in driving back. A follow up consultation with the doctor is mandatory to go through the post treatment conditions. Indeed, people gone through gastroscopic procedure may experience a little sore throat, bloated stomach, torn of stomach lining, and reaction to the sedatives given. On experiencing any of these medical difficulties, the patient is needed to check with the doctor or get admitted to hospital as required. The doctor may give relevant treatment to cure after-procedure minor complications. In fact, gastroscopy is a simple examination that may turn out to be slightly troublesome on not taking care of the precautionary measures that may include control on diet too.

Gastroscopy, being an invasive diagnostic test provides very useful information regarding the status of the oesophagus and the digestive system. As the reason of trouble is diagnosed, the treatment is provided based on that. Gastroscopy at times also serves the purpose of treatment for stopping bleeding, widening of narrowed oesophagus, removal of growths or polyps and also to provide nutrition through tube when normal eating is not possible. Serving various purposes, gastroscopy is a boon to the medical fraternity.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 9, 2017

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