What is Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy?

Endoscopy involves the use of a flexible video instrument (gastroscope) to examine the upper intestinal tract including the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. The procedure is commonly undertaken if your Doctor suspects that you have inflammation, ulceration or other abnormality of the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum.

How are you prepared?

  • No alcohol to be consumed and stop smoking 12 hours before your procedure
  • Cease solid food for six (6) hours before your procedure
  • Drink water - 1 glass per hour until 2 hours before your procedure
  • Nothing further to drink until after your procedure

While fasting take all regular medication with a sip of water at least three hours prior to procedure.

If you have serious heart or chest problems or drug allergies, special precautions need to be taken to reduce any risk. You should therefore inform the doctor of any serious conditions of this nature.

If you are diabetic, withhold your morning medication and bring it and a sandwich with you to take following the procedure.

At the beginning of the procedure you will be given a sedative by injection into a vein to make you comfortable and relaxed. The procedure will take between 5 - 15 minutes and you will be sleepy for about half an hour afterwards.

What we do

An endoscope is a flexible tube about 9mm (3/8") in diameter. It allows full colour inspection of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. It also enables biopsies to be taken from these areas if necessary.

You will be given time to recover from your procedure in an observed recovery area, followed by light refreshments.

The doctor will then talk with you and discuss any findings. You will be given written information and the necessary follow up. A detailed report will be sent to your G.P.


For legal reasons you must not drive a vehicle or operate machinery for at least 12 hours following sedation. Driving under the influence of sedation carries the same implications as with alcohol. You should have a responsible adult with you to drive you home and stay with you for twelve hours.