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Microsoft word - gastroscopy.docx
WHAT IS A GASTROSCOPY?
This procedure involves an endoscope – a long, thin flexible tube with a ‘video camera’ at the tip measuring approximately 9mm
across – being passed through the mouth into the oesophagus, stomach and first part of the smal bowel (duodenum). Gastroscopy
is usually performed to evaluate symptoms of indigestion, upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swal owing. It is
also the best test for finding the cause of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A GASTROSCOPY?
You need to fast for a minimum of 6 hours before the procedure. While fasting you can consume WATER ONLY
up to 3 hours
before your procedure. Please take al your regular medications with a sip of water at least 2 hours before attending hospital. It is
desirable that you are not taking any iron tablets, clopidogrel (Plavix) or other blood thinners (e.g. warfarin, dabigatran) if possible.
It is OK to continue aspirin. If you are on any of these medications and are unsure if you can stop them safely, you need to discuss
this with your doctor. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:
If you have serious heart or chest problems you should inform your doctor. Special precautions wil be taken, which may include
providing oxygen during the procedure and/or monitoring the heart and oxygen levels during the procedure. WHAT DO I DO IF I AM A DIABETIC?
On the morning of the procedure do not take your diabetic medications
, but bring them with you as you will be given something
to eat after your procedure. Diabetic patients on insulin
should be on a morning list if possible. If you are uncertain please contact
the rooms or the Hospital Endoscopy Department. WHAT DO WE DO?
At the beginning of the procedure your throat wil be sprayed with a local anaesthetic (which can taste unpleasant) and you wil be
given a sedative by injection (by the anaesthetist) in a vein to make you comfortable.
The endoscope al ows ful inspection of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. The procedure will take between 5 and 15
minutes and you wil be sleepy for about half an hour afterwards. SAFETY AND RISKS
Gastroscopy is usual y simple and safe. It is unlikely to cause problems for patients unless they have serious heart or chest problems.
Bleeding from where the biopsy was taken or minor trauma from the gastroscope may occur. A smal hole (perforation) being
made during the procedure is very rare, but possible, and you may require additional treatment if this occurs. Extremely rarely,
individual patients may have a reaction to the sedation.
The gastroscope is a reusable instrument, which cannot go through a heat sterilisation process. However, after each use it is
thoroughly cleaned and then disinfected, using a high level disinfectant. The hospital cleans and disinfects the gastroscope
according to the standards set by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia. The possibility of infection being introduced during
the procedure cannot be completely ruled out, but seems extremely rare. Death is a remote possibility with any interventional
procedure. If you wish to have details of possible rare complications discussed before the procedure, you should inform your
WHAT HAPPENS AFTERWARDS?
The sedative painkil er you are given before the procedure is very effective in reducing any discomfort. However, it may also affect
your memory for some time afterwards. Even when the sedative appears to have worn off, you may find you are unable to recal
details of your discussion with your doctor. For this reason a relative or friend should come with you if possible. You must not
drive or operate machinery or make major decisions for a minimum of 12 hours after the test (until the next day)
. If after the
test you have any symptoms that cause you concern, you should contact the Hospital or your own Doctor (e.g. severe
abdominal/chest pain, difficult/painful swallowing, fevers/chil s, vomiting blood or blood in the faeces). PREPARING FOR THE GASTROSCOPY
1. You must fast for 6 hours before the test
. When fasting, have nothing to eat or drink other than clear water only up to 3
hours before your procedure. Please take your regular medications with a sip of water at least 2 hours prior to attending hospital.
Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight, except clear water only until 5am. AFTERNOON APPOINTMENTS
Have nothing to eat or drink after 7am, except clear water only until 10am.
2. Report to the Gastroenterology Department at the time advised. Please bring this sheet, your referral form, relevant X-
rays and your pre-admission form if you have not already delivered these, and your Medical insurance and Medicare details.
3. It is unsafe to drive yourself home or to return home unaccompanied (e.g. in a taxi alone). You must not drive or
operate machinery or make major decisions for a minimum of 12 hours after the test (until the next day)
sedative painkil er you are given before the procedure is very effective in reducing any discomfort. However, it may also
affect your memory for some time afterwards. Even when the sedative appears to have worn off, you may find you are
unable to recal details of your discussion with your doctor. For this reason a relative or friend should come with you if
4. If you have any problems after the procedure or have symptoms that cause you concern, you should contact the Hospital.
5. In most instances health funds accept Coastal Gastroenterology accounts for direct no-gap bil ing. If not, you wil be
given an invoice for the doctor’s services. Payment wil be your responsibility, but the majority of the cost wil be reimbursed by Medicare and your private health fund. If paying on the day a receipt wil be issued for you to claim from your health fund and Medicare. A separate account is issued by Hol ywood Private Hospital for the Bed Fee. With some funds there is a $50 hospital gap (similar at al hospitals), which must be paid on the day. If biopsies are taken you wil also receive an account from the Pathologist. For most procedures an Anaesthetist is also present, and a further account is raised by that doctor. If you are not insured, you wil be charged the Australian Medical Associations (AMA) recommended rates.
6. Expect to be in the hospital for between 3 to 6 hours on the day of your procedure. It is worth bringing something to read
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