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. The procedure is carried out using an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube fitted with a small light and camera. The camera sends detailed images of your upper gastrointestinal system back to a monitor viewed by your consultant or specialist nurse.   

Who is suitable for a gastroscopy?

If you are experiencing persistent abdominal pain, heartburn or indigestion, pain or difficulty swallowing, or low levels of iron, your gastroenterologist may recommend a gastroscopy 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) 
  • Treat some conditions, such as bleeding.   

What does a gastroscopy 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. The procedure isn’t painful, but it can feel uncomfortable. You may choose to have a local anaesthetic. Video images sent from the endoscope will enable your doctor to examine your upper gastrointestinal system.   

What can you do to prepare for a gastroscopy?

Your consultant will discuss with you how you can prepare. You may be asked to avoid eating and drinking for a few hours before the procedure. 

What is the recovery period?

A gastroscopy is usually performed without local or general anaesthetic. It can feel uncomfortable, but the procedure only takes a few minutes and most people can go home straight after the examination. You may have a slightly sore throat when the anaesthetic spray wears off. This can last a day or two.  

Self-pay package

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 £1,880 (day case) 

Indicative consultant fees from £150 

When enquiring about this package, please quote G4430.

  • Histology tests 
  • Recovery time in the endoscopy suite  
  • Nursing 
  • 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  

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Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via email or telephone.