Gastroenterologists Murdoch & Perth
What is a gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy is a procedure involving an endoscope – and this is why it is sometimes called an endoscopy. The story behind that is that the gastroscopy was the first type of endoscopy done, and the name has stuck.
The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube. From its tip, and from inside your gut, it sends images to our screen.
With a gastroscopy, we pass the tube through your mouth into your oesophagus (gullet), stomach, and the first part of your small bowel.
It allows your gastroenterologist to inspect these areas, to assess your gut health and to diagnose any gastrointestinal diseases you might have. Sometimes a gastroscopy is used to perform procedures such as biopsies. In that case, we send tissue samples to the lab for further analysis.
We do a gastroscopy as day surgery in hospital. Wexford Gastroenterology is a group of gastroenterologists based in Perth, Western Australia. We are located in the Wexford Medical Centre at Murdoch. We believe that gastroenterological conditions are best managed by trained specialists with an interest in that field. We deliver care to patients with a wide range of conditions delivered by specialists who care about each particular condition.
Why do we do a gastroscopy?
We do a gastroscopy to investigate symptoms that may come from the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and the first part of your small bowel such as:
- Indigestion or upper abdominal (tummy) pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Possible bleeding
A gastroscopy is better than an x-ray for detecting most things wrong with these areas. When we do a gastroscopy we sometimes take biopsies (samples of tissue) to send to the lab. We do this to:
- Diagnose conditions such as coeliac disease, test the function of the small bowel and assess gut health
- In some cases we do a gastroscopy to make sure you don’t have cancer
Your gastroenterologist can pass small instruments through the endoscope to directly treat problems, such as stretch a narrowed area, remove polyps (usually benign growths) or treat bleeding.
Before having a gastroscopy
If your GP has referred you for a gastroscopy, then here are a few things to consider.
It is important you have an empty stomach so you should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately six hours before the examination. Your gastroenterologist will provide more specific details about this, depending on the time of day that your test is scheduled.
Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take as you might need to adjust your usual dose for the examination – this is particularly important if you have diabetes.
Also please make sure you let us know if you have any allergies to medications, or medical conditions such as heart or lung disease.
If you have any questions about your upcoming gastroscopy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Wexford Gastroenterology.
During a gastroscopy
At Wexford Gastroenterology all our procedures are done in hospital with specialist anaesthetists present. These are doctors specially trained to put people to sleep and look after them during procedures.
Before the procedure an anaesthetic drug (sedative) is given. Most patients do not receive a full general anaesthetic like they would have for major surgery, but still are not awake during the procedure and do not remember anything afterwards.
The back of your throat may be sprayed with local anaesthetic to make it numb, and a small mouthguard may be put between your teeth to stop you from biting the endoscope. The entire gastroscopy procedure takes about 15 minutes.
While lying in a comfortable position on your left side the endoscope is passed through your mouth and then in turn through the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. The tube is just less than one centimetre in diameter and does not enter your windpipe, so it won’t interfere with your breathing.
After a gastroscopy
You will be monitored in the recovery area after your gastroscopy until most of the effects of the sedation medication have worn off.
In rare cases,your throat might be a little uncomfortable, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the procedure but these symptoms disappear quickly. You will be able to eat soon after unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
You will be given your results on the day of the procedure and a follow-up appointment may be made to discuss the test results in depth if needed as the results of any biopsies or samples taken will take a few days.
Because of the sedation given, it is important that you do not drive a car, travel on Perth’s public transport system alone, operate any machinery, sign any legal documents or drink alcohol on the day after your test. We recommend that a friend or relative should take you home and stay with you after your gastroscopy.
Gastroscopy St John of God Murdoch hospital
Having your procedure at Murdoch Hospital
St John of God Murdoch Hospital is a great place to have a gastroscopy. It is where the gastroenterologists at Wexford Gastro and their relatives and loved ones have chosen to have their endoscopies, when they have needed one.
We are gap-free providers, so you will not receive an additional bill from any of the gastroenterologists in the practice for your gastroscopy. We are all paid directly from the health insurance companies.
If you have any question about your planned gastroscopy, or if your GP has mentioned that it might be worth making a booking please don’t hesitate to contact our rooms for an enquiry. We look forward to helping you.