This is a test that is performed to identify abnormalities in the oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine.
Preparation for this procedure requires fasting for about 6 hours (which means you cannot eat any food during this time). Water is allowed up to 2 hours before the procedure. This allows the stomach to be clear of any food and enables us to see the lining of the gut clearly.
Once you arrive at the hospital for the procedure, you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have. In the procedure room, you will lie on your left side and a mouth guard will be inserted in to your mouth. This protects your teeth.
You will be able to breathe, either through your mouth or nose, during the whole procedure.
After making you feel relaxed with the use of medications, a flexible camera (the diameter of a little finger) is inserted in to your mouth. Clean medical air (or carbon dioxide) is inserted during the procedure so that it expands the stomach and improves the views.
The camera is carefully moved down the oesophagus, through the stomach and to the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). We can give you extra painkiller or relaxing agent during the procedure if required.
Multiple photos are taken and biopsies (or samples) can also be taken. A bacteria, which commonly causes inflammation or ulcers in the stomach, can be tested for. The whole procedure usually lasts less than 2-3 minutes.
You are then taken to a recovery area and informed of the findings once you have woken up.
Overall, there is very low risk of causing any complications like bleeding or a hole in the bowel.