Gastroscopy is a visual examination of the lining of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of your intestine). A flexible tube (about the thickness of a ball point pen) is passed through your mouth and into the stomach. The tube will not interfere with your breathing. A small video camera, which can take photos, sends an image onto a video screen. The doctor can look for any abnormalities and if necessary biopsies (small tissue samples) can be painlessly taken for laboratory testing. Other procedures to treat specific conditions can be done through the endoscope.

These include:

  • Stretching (dilating) the narrowed areas of the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum.
  • Removing polyps and swallowed objects.
  • Treatment of bleeding vessels and ulcers by internal injection or diathermy.

You may be referred for a gastroscopy to investigate:

  • Indigestion, heartburn, reflux
  • Bleeding, anaemia
  • Nausea
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Pain or abdominal discomfort


During your procedure you will be given sedation. It is important that you arrange for someone to drive you home following your procedure. You are not permitted, by law, to drive yourself.  For safety reasons, if you are travelling on public transport, or in a taxi, please arrange for a support person to travel with you.


Your medical history will be recorded and you will be given the opportunity to view an information DVD. You will be asked to sign a consent form indicating that you understand the test and risks involved with the procedure. The procedure is usually done with intravenous sedation, but can be performed without, after discussion with your Endoscopist, if this is your choice. If your Doctor plans to give you sedation for the procedure you will need to fast which will require no food for 6 hours and no liquids for 2 hours prior to the procedure. Local anaesthetic will be sprayed on to your throat to make it numb and to prevent gagging. You may be given medication into a vein to make you sleepy and relaxed. A small clip on your finger will monitor your heart rate and oxygen levels. The doctor will pass the endoscope through a mouthguard, which protects your teeth. Dentures may need to be removed. If required, it may be necessary to hold your hands ensuring your safety during the procedure. The examination takes between 10 to 20 minutes. 


If spray has been used, your throat may feel numb and slightly sore. You will be offered light refreshments (please advise of any special dietary requests) and remain in the clinic for approximately two hours from your appointment time. Your doctor will discuss the procedure with you and you will be given a written discharge information sheet. Due to the possible amnesic effects of the sedation, you may wish to have a support person with you when the doctor gives you the results. The report and results of any biopsies will be sent to your specialist and/or family doctor who referred you for the test.


Sedation is generally used during the procedure. It is important that you do not drive or operate machinery for 12 hours after your procedure. Your expected time of stay in hospital is about three to four hours. Please arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards. You are not permitted, by law, to drive yourself. For safety reasons, if you are travelling on public transport, or in a taxi, please arrange for a support person to travel with you.


Serious complications are very rare. Perforation, a tear or bleeding from the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum may occur, especially after endoscopic therapies and may require admission to hospital, antibiotics and sometimes surgery.

 Bleeding can occur when the oesophagus has been dilated.

 There is a rare possibility that defects or disease may be missed. 

Reaction to the sedation is rare. 

If you would like further clarification of these rare complications, please discuss them with your specialist or nurse on admission. 


  • You must contact your doctor if you suffer severe or prolonged pain or vomiting, passing of blood or high temperature
  • If you have any questions or concerns please raise these with your consultant before the procedure.

Gastroscopy Procedure - Printable Copy

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Payment Details

  • We advise you to apply to your insurance company for prior approval before your admission
  • Bring your health insurance prior approval letter to your appointment
  • With the exception of Southern Cross, once your account has been finalised, we will forward your invoice to your insurance company
  • If you do not have medical insurance or prior approval from your medical insurance, we will calculate an estimated total cost of your procedure and a deposit will be required on admission.  On completion of your stay your account will be processed and the amount adjusted accordingly. The total amount charged varies from patient to patient and any extra charges are to be settled on discharge.