Diagnostic gastroscopy and colonoscopy with biopsy
A gastroscopy is a procedure to examine your oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and the first part of your small intestine to investigate any symptoms or problems. It is sometimes done alongside a colonoscopy, a procedure to examine your large intestine (colon) and rectum. The procedures are carried out with types of endoscope, a thin, flexible tube fitted with a small light and camera. Together they provide your consultant with detailed images of both your upper and lower gastrointestinal system.
Who is suitable for a diagnostic gastroscopy and colonoscopy with biopsy?
If you are experiencing symptoms such as persistent abdominal pain, indigestion, difficulty swallowing, low levels of iron, rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, or unexplained weight loss or tiredness, your consultant may recommend a diagnostic gastroscopy and colonoscopy to:
- Investigate these symptoms and problems
- Diagnose conditions such as coeliac disease
- Screen for cancer
- Check for any growths or polyps
- Take small samples of tissue (biopsies).
What does a diagnostic gastroscopy and colonoscopy with biopsy involve?
A gastroscopy usually takes about 5-10 minutes, although it can take longer if it’s being used to treat a problem. Your consultant or specialist nurse will place the endoscope in the back of your mouth, which will have been numbed with an anaesthetic spray. They will then ask you to swallow the first part of the tube, before guiding it gently down your oesophagus and into your stomach. Video images sent from the endoscope will enable your doctor to examine your upper gastrointestinal system.
A colonoscopy usually takes about 30-45 minutes. Your consultant or specialist nurse will insert a colonoscope into your back passage. They may then inflate your abdomen slightly with carbon dioxide gas to get a clearer view of your large bowel. Video images sent from the colonoscope will enable your doctor to examine your colon and rectum. If they find any small growths or polyps, they will remove them or take a small sample of tissue (biopsy), using a small surgical tool through the colonoscope.
The procedures aren’t painful, but can feel uncomfortable. You will be offered a painkiller or sedation.
What can you do to prepare for a diagnostic gastroscopy and colonoscopy with biopsy?
Your consultant will discuss with you how you can prepare. You may be asked to follow a special low fibre diet in the days before the procedure. You will also be asked to take a laxative to clear your bowels. This can help to improve the quality and detail of the pictures collected by the colonoscope’s camera.
What is the recovery period?
A gastroscopy and colonoscopy are usually performed without anaesthetic. Most people can go home an hour or two after the examination. You might have some stomach pains or bloating for a few hours after the procedure, and you may experience some rectal bleeding. You may also have a slightly sore throat when the anaesthetic throat spray wears off. This can last a day or two.
As well as working with all major insurance companies, we also welcome patients who wish to pay for themselves.
Below is an outline of our self-pay hospital package which includes tests, hospital stay and procedure.
Please note: it does not include consultant fees, which may vary.
Hospital package from £1,800 (day case)
Indicative consultant fees from £425
- Histology tests
- Recovery time in the endoscopy suite
- Pre procedure bowel preparation if required
- Theatre procedure and anaesthetics
- Consultant consultation fee
- Post-op and discharge medication
- Neurophysiology, dietician, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy
- Non-standard diagnostic and histology tests
- Any additional costs not specified in the package inclusions