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Answers to Patients´ Questions

What is a gastroscopy?

During a gastroscopy a thin, flexible tube (the endoscope) is passed through the mouth down towards the stomach. The upper digestive system (i. e. gullet, stomach and duodenum) will then be closely investigated.

This process also helps to diagnose hiatus hernia, which very often results in heartburn (acid reflux), as well as gastritis and to assess its severity grade.

What happens during a gastroscopy?

Tissue samples can be taken free of pain through the endoscope, if any abnormal changes are detected. In addition it is possible to test for Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium known to cause stomach ulcers. If necessary some conditions may also be treated directly, like the removal of polyps (benign growths in the lining of the digestive organs) or stopping a bleeding in the stomach.

In order to either confirm or rule out stomach cancer, tissue samples are taken during the gastroscopy, which will then be analysed in the lab.

When may a gastroscopy be advised?

If you suffer from one of the following symptoms, it is highly recommended to seek medical advice:

  • recurring abdominal pain
  • heartburn (acid reflux)
  • feeling full
  • difficulties swallowing

How to prepare for a gastroscopy?

  • Do not drink milk or eat dairy products the day before the procedure.
  • After consulting with your GP, you may be required to stop taking blood-thinning medication one week prior to the examination.
  • Are you diabetic? Please talk to your attending physician regarding the dosage of your medication (insulin)!

What do I have to consider on the examination day?

  • Please bring a towel and the completed and signed patient information forms to the screening!
  • Do not eat or drink 6 hours before the procedure.
  • You may take prescribed medicines with some liquid up to 2 hours before the procedure.
  • Unless otherwise agreed, you may eat and drink as usual already one hour after the procedure.

How long will the procedure last?

A gastroscopy usually takes a mere 10 minutes and will not cause any pain. If you desire, though, you will be given a short-term anaesthesia to carry out the procedure.

For the sake of patient safety a Consultant Anaesthetist will be present during the entire procedure. Typically you will be ready to leave the practice an hour after the procedure has ended.

What to do after having received a short-term anaesthesia?

Please note that you must not drive a vehicle for the remainder of the day, in case you have been given a short-term anaesthesia. You should have someone to escort you home or take a taxi to go there!

Is it possible to combine two endoscopic investigations during one appointment?

If you wish so, both a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy may be carried out during a single appointment.

Always pay kind attention to the following!

Staying healthy as well as diagnosing and treating diseases is as singular as each individual person. This website provides some generally accepted information, which cannot substitute for a personal talk between doctor and patient.

Please make an appointment for a full, personal consultation in our practice.

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please cancel it at least 2 clinic days in advance by telephoning us (phone +43/1/6044393). If you fail to notify us in due time, you will be charged an administration fee of EUR 100.

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