A gastroscopy is a diagnostic imaging procedure for the detection of gastric diseases. With the help of a gastroscope, the inside of the stomach can be examined and, if necessary, samples of the tissue can be taken (biopsy) or minor interventions can be carried out. For the examining doctor, there is not only a possibility of recognizing different diseases (diagnosis) but also of treating them in the same procedure.

Indication of a gastroscopy

Found a Gastroscopy is always recommended if there are problems or Pain in the field of esophagus, of Stomach or des Duodenumthat connects directly to the stomach.
The whole upper digestive tract can be examined with a gastroscopy. It serves to confirm or exclude one Inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) and is also suspected Ulcers (Ulcers) or bulges in the stomach or duodenum. Further indications are, for example, recurring strong heartburn, common nausea With Vomit, Pain or problems with To swallow, Blood in the stool or in vomit, but also a generalized one anemia (Anemia) or unclear Weight losswhich can always have a cause in the upper digestive tract.

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The Investigation methodthat at a Gastroscopy Is used, has been tried and tested and is an everyday routine for experienced doctors. Specialized specialists (Gastroenterologists) perform them on an outpatient basis in most cases, so that hospitalization is not necessary. The patient appears at the appointment and can then go home after a short rest period.

Depending on Type of stunning respectively Anesthetic procedure the person examined must allow himself to be picked up, must no longer drive a car on that day and should not drive any machines. Before starting the examination there is a local anesthesia of the pharynxto make the following a little more enjoyable. The procedure itself is a bit uncomfortable, but perfect painless. For this reason, the above-mentioned local anesthesia is sufficient in principle. Nonetheless, a short, calming injection is also possible on request, so that the patient can no longer perceive the procedure.

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Please also read our page Anesthesia during a gastroscopy.

A gastroscopy is performed with a special endoscope, the so-called Gastroscope. This is one Plastic hose less than a centimeter in diameter with several channels in which miscellaneous items are housed. This gastroscope is used by the examiner esophagus at the Larynx over to the stomach advanced. Meanwhile, the patient lies on his left side with a teething ring between his teeth to catch reflex biting and to avoid damaging the gastroscope. A channel of the gastroscope houses a mini camera, the images of which are displayed on an external screen so that the exact position and condition of the mucous membrane can be assessed at any time. Another channel carries optical fibers with light to illuminate the interior. There is also the option of blowing or aspirating liquids or air through the gastroscope or inserting instruments. With the help of Air connection As soon as the gastroscope is deep enough in the stomach, the examining doctor allows an air-gas mixture to flow into the stomach so that it expands and the mucous membrane becomes more visible. Other instruments are particularly important if you want to switch from purely diagnostic gastroscopy as an examination method to therapeutic gastroscopy with treatment intent. Osuperficial tissue changes (both benign and malicious) can be instantly whole away or biopsied become. On the basis of the sample obtained in this way, the classification and determination of the change and thus a decision on how to proceed.

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With the help of special clips or Bands of rubber can also Bleeding be breastfed immediately. Sometimes the targeted one is enough Injection With anticoagulant drugs out. At the end of the examination, the gastroenterologist pulls out the approximately one meter long gastroscope along the same route through the esophagus.

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Essential for good Gastroscopy is a good preparation by the patient. In order to be able to assess the area to be examined properly, it must be free of food and liquids. Therefore the patient should take a Gastroscopy at least 6 hours eat nothing and also do not drink. If drinking a little is inevitable, choose plain water.

A complete Colon cleansing like one Colonoscopy is against not necessary. Patients who occasionally (e.g. Acetylsalicylic acid at Pain) or regularly anti-coagulant drugs should always let the examining doctor know and discuss the next steps with him. It may be necessary to stop these medications a few days before the gastroscopy in order not to jeopardize the procedure and to reduce the risk of complications.

Complications and Risks of a Gastroscopy

Like everyone more or less invasive intervention is also that Gastroscopy not free of Complications. After the examination, patients often report an unpleasant, pigeon feeling in the area of ​​the throat. For some it also happens hoarseness and Throat irritation. These after-effects can be observed relatively often, but do not require any special therapy and usually disappear on their own. Due to the air used in the examination, it can also be Bloating, Flatulence or Eructation come. These symptoms also usually subside within a few hours.

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Very rare can be part of a Gastroscopy You may also experience more serious side effects. Come here Cardiac arrhythmias as well as Injuries to the stomach wall up to Piercing (perforation), Bleeding and the risk of inhaling saliva or other liquids (aspiration) in question. In the worst case, one develops from the latter lung infectionwhich must then be dealt with separately. As with any procedure, every patient should have a gastroscopy with regard to Pulse rate and Oxygen saturation in the blood be monitored.

Further information on the subject of a gastroscopy

  • Colonoscopy
  • Colonoscopy Risks
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gastroscopy in children
  • Anesthesia gastroscopy

Further information on gastroscopy can be found here:

  • Diagnosis
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • Diseases of the esophagus
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Physical examination
  • laparoscopy

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