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Dr Mark Kennedy - Private Internal Medicine Specialist

Private Service

Gastroscopy

Patient information:

This is a procedure which allows Dr Kennedy to see inside your oesophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) allowing direct examination of the lining. This is undertaken by Dr Kennedy at Kensington Hospital.  Dr Kennedy is a Southern Cross Affiliated Provider for gastroscopy.

What to expect
You will be offered intravenous sedatives (medicine that will make you drowsy, though not a general anaesthetic) and this will dim any recollection of the event. The throat is sprayed with local anaesthetic so you don’t feel the gastroscope. During the test the gastroscope will be passed through the mouth, down the back of your throat. The gastroscope is a plastic-coated tube about as thin as a ballpoint pen and is soft and flexible. It has a tiny camera attached that sends images to a viewing screen. If Dr Kennedy sees any abnormalities he can take a biopsy (a small piece of tissue) to send to the laboratory for testing. This is not a painful procedure and will be performed at the day stay unit in a theatre suite (operating room) at Kensington Hospital by Dr Kennedy, with nurses assisting.

Complications from this procedure are very rare, but can occur. They include:

  • bleeding after a biopsy, if performed
  • an allergic reaction to the sedative or throat spray or complications from the sedation
  • perforation (tearing) of the oesophagus or stomach with the instrument (this is a serious but extremely rare complication)

Before the procedure:  You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the gastroscopy. An early small breakfast is possible if you are on an afternoon procedure list.

After the procedure:  Dr Kennedy wishes to speak about the findings with someone else as you will be sedated and will have either no or only minimal recollection of conversations after the procedure.  You will stay in the day stay unit until the sedation has worn off, which usually takes 1-2 hours. You will be given something to eat and drink before you go home. You must not drive until the following day as you have received sedation. You need someone to drive you home and keep an eye on you until the following day. Prearrangements for overnight admission can be made if you cannot be driven home.

If biopsies are taken these will be sent for histological (microscopic) analysis and results are usually available within 1 week. A report and copy of these biopsy results and the gastroscopy report and photos are sent to your GP.  In some cases you will need to be followed up in the clinic with Dr Kennedy or you may need a follow-up gastroscopy after an interval, depending on the nature of your problem.

This page was last updated at 1:55PM on December 13, 2018.