A gastroscopy is an examination that allows a doctor to visualize the inner walls of your esophagus, your stomach and your duodenum. To carry out the examination, the doctor introduces the gastroscope, a small flexible tube the size of your little finger, through your mouth into your stomach. With the help of an optical fibre (a camera), the doctor can see images (which are also projected onto a screen) that allow him or her to conduct the examination.
The purpose of the examination
1. This examination enables the detection of anomalies on the walls of the esophagus, the stomach and the duodenum. It allows the confirmation or the elimination of a diagnostic hypothesis.
2. The doctor can proceed to a biopsy. A small instrument is introduced into the gastroscope to take a fragment of tissue, which may allow the confirmation of the presence of a bacterium responsible for chronic symptoms, or, in other cases, the sample taken will be sent to the regional hospital’s anatomopathology laboratory for analysis.
3. The examination can also be therapeutic:
a. A foreign object can be removed.
b. A polyp can be excised (polypectomy).
c. Bleeding can be controlled, a varix ligature performed, a vessel can be cauterized, etc.
All these techniques are painless. In some cases, you may be administered a sedative to minimize the discomfort of the examination.
Preparing yourself safely for the examination
Consult the document The ABCs of Preparing for Your Gastroscopy