Gastroscopy, also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or OGD, is a procedure in which a long flexible tubular instrument with a light source is inserted through the mouth to examine the lining of the food pipe, stomach, and early small intestine or duodenum for any abnormalities.

It is performed as a Day Surgery procedure and takes roughly 10-15 minutes. The procedure is performed under moderate sedation, which means the patient will be given drugs into their veins to make them feel comfortable, painless, and drowsy. The treatment can also be performed under local anaesthetic.

Air is blown into the stomach during the procedure to help us see more clearly, which may cause mild abdominal discomfort and burping but soon go away. Depending on what we uncover, we will evaluate and perform additional procedures (such as biopsies or tests to determine the presence of ulcer-causing bacteria: Helicobacter pylori).

Most common reasons to recommend gastroscopy:

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Black stools or melena (to look for ulcer)
  • Early satiety or feeling of fullness after little food intake
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Screening for esophagus or stomach cancer
    • Family history of bowel cancer
    • Family history of stomach cancer
    • Family history of high-risk cancers
  • Surveillance after cancer surgery

Things to do before gastroscopy:

  • Fasting overnight
  • Please inform us prior about any special medical conditions that the patient has (like diabetes, hypertension, heart valves, blood thinner medications, etc.), since that will require more special instructions.

Road to recovery after gastroscopy:

  • Close monitoring on the patient status in the recovery room right after undergoing the procedure
  • After waking up, patients can go back to their regular diet
  • Specific drugs must be temporarily withheld if certain procedures were performed during the scope – as we will explain at discharge
  • If a biopsy or polypectomy was performed, the histology of the procedure must be determined at the next clinic visit
  • We would advise patients to arrange for a family member or a driver to transport them home because the sedative medication used during the operation makes it dangerous to drive or operate machinery for roughly 8-12 hours after the surgery
  • When a surgery is performed under local anesthetic, the patient is able to return home on their own

Possible complications:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bleeding, especially when biopsy is done
  • Perforation of bowel
    • The risk of the following two complications is extremely low – about one in 10,000 – but if they occur, the patient may require emergency surgery, which can be life-threatening.
    • However, in the hands of a trained professional, the process is often safe.


  • Scope images taken during the process will be provided.
  • At the following clinic visit, we will present the histology report and explain/proceed with the next steps.
  • We will recommend follow-up scopes at predetermined intervals based on the findings.
  • If the ulcer-causing bacterium is discovered, we will treat it (anti-H.pylori triple therapy regimen) to eradicate the infection, followed by a follow-up test (urea breath test) after 8 weeks to ensure that it has been removed.
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