What is a Gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy, also known as upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, is a medical procedure using a thin flexible tube (endoscope) with a light and camera which is inserted through your mouth into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum to visually inspect for any abnormalities such as ulcers, gastritis or injury from acid reflux disease. This procedure is usually performed by a highly trained gastroenterologist. The endoscope used during this procedure can also extract tissue samples, or biopsies, for further analysis at a laboratory by a pathologist. Photographs, or video recordings may be taken to document findings for your medical records and to provide copies for other physicians involved in your care. Gastroscopy can also be utilized to cauterize actively bleeding ulcers or for other endoscopic treatments.
Why is this procedure performed?
There are a number of medical conditions and symptoms for which gastroscopy can be the procedure of choice for making a diagnosis. Patients with persistent indigestion or heartburn, stomach pain, trouble swallowing, anemia, nausea and vomiting, unexplained bleeding or other symptoms may be referred for gastroscopy. Because this procedure is recognized as a safe and rapid method of allowing a physician to visually examine your upper GI tract, it is often used in place of traditional X-rays. Gastroscopy can be utilized to detect a variety of gastrointestinal abnormalities, such as the source of bleeding, peptic ulcers, abnormal growths or cancers, infections, inflammation, narrowing or strictures of the esophagus, and hiatal hernias. It is also used to monitor Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that may progress to esophageal cancer over time. Because the physician can take photos, videos or tissue samples during the procedure, gastroscopy offers valuable information in making a correct and complete diagnosis of you medical condition.
What to Expect During Your Gastroscopy Procedure
Preparing for Gastroscopy Prior to your gastroscopy procedure, you will be provided several pieces of patient information, including written instructions. The stomach and duodenum must be empty of food and liquids for the gastroscopy. You should not eat or drink after midnight the evening before your morning gastroscopy or at least 6 to 8 hours prior to the procedure if it is to be performed in the afternoon. Be sure to share any health conditions, allergies and medications you are taking with the physician or staff member preparing you for your procedure. You should discuss with your physician which of your medications should be taken (with a small amount of water) in the morning of your gastroscopy. It is generally advised that all blood pressure or heart medications should be taken first thing in the morning of your examination.
During the Gastroscopy Procedure Your gastroscopy procedure will be performed at the Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC, which is an outpatient ambulatory endoscopy facility. You will be asked to wear comfortable clothing and you will be escorted to a private dressing room to change into a hospital gown. A sedative will be administered though an IV catheter placed in a vein in your arm or hand. The anesthesia will be administered by a staff Anesthesiologist who will monitor your vital signs before, during and after the procedure. This will help you remain calm and relaxed during the procedure. A local liquid or spray anesthetic may also be administered to your throat to calm or relieve the gag reflex. You will lie on your back or left side and the endoscope will be carefully inserted through your mouth and down your esophagus. A video camera provides constant images of the lining of your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Air may be pumped or puffed into your stomach and duodenum making it easier to see the walls of these structures. During the procedure, the physician may take tissue biopsies, remove abnormal growths or cauterize ulcers to stop bleeding. Any tissue samples will be sent to a laboratory to allow a pathologist to perform a microscopic examination. The examination is typically completed within 15 minutes.
After the Gastroscopy Procedure You will recover from the procedure in a recovery room. It may take an hour or so for the sedative to wear off. You may feel bloated or nauseous and some patients report a mild sore throat. Throat pain or discomfort may last a day or two but is not a common complaint. Your physician will visit with you when you are awake to share the immediate results with you. You may be shown photos or videos captured during the procedure. Any tissues biopsy results will be available in a few days. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours after your procedure. Otherwise, you will be allowed to return to normal routines upon returning home. Your physician or gastroenterologist will discuss future treatments or visits with you and will share results with your primary care physician or other specialists treating you. While gastroscopy is a safe procedure, it still involves some risks, including a reaction to sedatives, accidental puncture of the GI tract (less then 1 per 1000 cases reported), bleeding or problems swallowing. Discuss these risks with your physician and contact them immediately should you experience any possible side effects following your procedure. Patients generally report little or no ill effects following a gastroscopy.
For Our Customers We Offer
The Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC offers our patients unparalleled safety, quality and outcomes. Our practice was the first Ambulatory Endoscopy Center in New Jersey to receive a dual three-year Accreditation from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). This dual certification for ACE identifies our practice as a regional and national leader in safety, efficacy and compliance with all recommended guidelines developed by the industry leaders. The standards for these certifications meet or exceed the standards established for hospital endoscopy units. Your health, safety, convenience and satisfaction are our only concern.
The Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC is a private, state-of-the-art outpatient Ambulatory Endoscopy Center located on the 4th floor of Palisades Medical Center, which is located at 7600 River Road in North Bergen, NJ 07047. The hospital is situated on the west bank of the Hudson River four miles south of the George Washington Bridge and two miles north of the Lincoln Tunnel.
Patients in Bergen and Hudson counties as well as those from surrounding areas come to the Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC because of our reputation, location and dedication to customer service.