Preparation for gastroscopy

Gastroscopy requires special preparation, about which the patient is informed at the time of prescription of this manipulation.

1. If time permits, the patient should exclude chocolate, nuts, seeds, and spicy food two days before the manipulation. It is advisable to discontinue taking alcoholic beverages at the same time.

2. The last meal before the diagnostic procedure must be no later than at 6 p.m. of the previous day. Evening meal must be substantial but without any high-residue food.

3. Before the manipulation it is recommended to exclude rough food, heavy salads with mayonnaise, a lot of whole-wheat bread, fatty meat or fish, and cheese. The best option for supper is a portion of green salad with a small amount of chicken breast, steamed chicken rissole, buckweat porridge, or fatless cottage cheese. Any beans or barley groats are unadvisable, while a portion of mashed potatoes or steamed broccoli can perfectly be the basis of evening meal the day before the diagnostics.

Preparation on the day of gastroscopy

  • On the day of examination it is not allowed to take any food or beverages. A little water can be taken no later than 2-4 hours before the examination.

  • If the patient takes any chronic medication in caps or pills he or she should suspend taking them since any foreign items in the cavity of the organ being examined can distort the picture.

  • The gastroscopy is accompanied with an intensified gag reflex, thus food from the stomach may not just muck clothes but also come into upper airways in case of taking an inhale when vomiting. Furthermore, taking any drugs before the manipulation is accompanied with an excessive production of gastric acid. In the situation of ‘on empty stomach’ this can exacerbate the pathologic condition. For the same reason, smoking before the gastroscopy is not recommended. That is it with the preparation and now we proceed to the examination itself.

It is very important to alert the doctor about any existing allergic reactions, in particular, if they are associated with medicinal drugs. Before the manipulation the doctor will administer premedication or anesthetization of the base of tongue and throat with a spray. This will reduce discomfort and pain and in some way suppress the gag reflex, thereby facilitating the doctor’s objective, however may cause an allergic reaction in the patient.

For the gastroscopy examination of the digestive tract it is necessary to bring with you results of previous manipulations, if any, and X-ray pictures, results of analyses, and other data of previously conducted diagnostic tests of stomach and duodenum.


Gastroscopic procedure

Immediately before the manipulation the doctor will ask you to sign the statement of consent for manipulation. Be sure to discuss with the doctor the probability of any consequences and risks of the examination.

The gastroscopic study is a manipulation, which allows inspecting the stomach and esophagus with the use of a special probe, which consists of a special optical tube with a video camera (endoscope). The terminal part of the devise is inserted into the mouth and then gradually moved downwards into the stomach.

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The gastroscopy is conducted in a specially equipped room by an endoscopist doctor specializing in endoscopy and gastroenterology (gastroenterologist).

Before the beginning, anesthetization of the base of tongue and throat with an anaesthetic spray or mouthwash with anaesthetic solution is conducted. This helps relax throat muscle and reduce the intensity of gag reflex, thereby facilitating the passage of the endoscope into the esophagus.

You will be asked to lay on your side, normally on the right. Then a special biteboard will be inserted into your mouth to protect your teeth from any damage caused by endoscope and the endoscope itself from biting, since it is rather expensive equipment. Then the doctor will insert the endpiece of endoscope into your mouth gently pressing on the tongue while gradually moving further. This done the doctor will ask you to make a swallow to let the endoscope pass into the esophagus. Since the size of endoscope in diameter is considerably less than a food bolus you should have no problem with swallowing or breathing.

During the manipulation the doctor will ask you not to swallow unless it is necessary. If there is a lot of saliva in the oral cavity the assistant nurse will remove it with the use of an aspirator.

The endoscopist will gradually move the endoscope down into the lumen of digestive tract while looking into the ocular or at the video monitor in order to evaluate the state of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum walls. In case of any problems with the inspection of the organ walls some air or water will be supplied through a special channel of the endoscope into the stomach lumen to wash the walls, clean the area under inspection, or clean the endoscope lens. After that, liquid and air are removed with the use of an aspirator.

The camera connected to the endoscopic equipment allows video recording of the whole period of examination for the subsequent detailed assessment of any findings. Via a special channel in the endoscope the doctor can insert some tiny endoscopic tools (forceps, loops, or staples) to make a biopsy or remove any pathologic overgrowth of mucosa. The biopsy manipulation is absolutely painless.