Having a gastroscopy in hospital – Patient information


so if you are coming in for an endoscopy keep an open mind the staff will put you totally at ease throughout the whole procedure and it will make the procedure go a lot easier and more successful if you’re a lot more relaxed I was referred to the department from my doctor and then they then phoned me and made the appointment they then sent me some new information on what an endoscopy involved Pre assessment has been arranged so that patients are safely prepared for their procedure certain patients have medication thinning the blood or their diabetic that we need to make sure that their diabetes is controlled and that the blood thinning drugs are reduced so that we can take samples we can do either phone or a physical appointment if they do have a phone pre-assessment they need to be available you need to be sat down in your own home and talk through what we’re doing the patient information included a booklet that went through the procedure from start to finish they basically said about they wanted to understand and know about any medication you’re on information also stated about when you can eat there was numbers available so that you could phone if you wanted further information or wanted to clarify anything you will get a leaflet about consent the consent process and you will get an information leaflet that describes what’s going to happen to you and advise that we should wear loose comfortable clothing and it made it a lot easier especially when getting on the bed and going through the procedure if they’ve got a morning appointment they need to be nil by mouth from midnight if they’re having an afternoon appointment they can have a light breakfast and two hours before their appointment they can have a drink of water on arrival I went to reception booked in they also asked to clarify who I was and wanted to know my name my address and my date of birth and she put a wristband on they gave it for my personal information they did tell me that if I was going to have a sedative I would have to have someone come pick me up after the procedure they then sat me in a cubicle first of all to wait and then I was shown through to endoscopy whilst you’re having a procedure anybody that comes with you they can’t come in and they have to wait outside in reception or they have to come back a bit later the consent process is a very important part of the patient pathway we have to gain informed consent from the patient because there are risks with the test they’re always going to be risks with any procedure you have undertaken in hospital consent can always be withdrawn at any time once you’ve signed the consent form it doesn’t mean that it’s written in stone consent can be removed by the patients whenever they want once you sign the consent and you’ve gone through all their initial procedures you then have to wait a while the waiting times once you’re in the unit we say from admission that you can be up to two to four hours within the unit this is because there’s procedures that we cannot tell the time line on we can’t tell how long they’re going to take so it’s very hard to be prescriptive about times if you then opt to have a sedative they then put a cannula in your wrist it was a nurse that put the cannula in and they do it all day every day so that made it easier and I felt no pain or discomfort while they were doing it I was very impressed with the way they put it in to administer the medication the sedative we will pop a little tube into a vein it’s a plastic tube that’s left in we use a needle to insert it and through that we will give all medication the sedative and a flush the nurse comes and collects you and takes you through to the procedure room where you’re then introduced to the team there will be on average two nurses and the endoscopist which is usually a doctor or a surgeon we’ll ask them to put their belongings on a chair in the corner have a seat up on the trolley there’s two ways of doing the gastroscopy you can have sedation and throat spray or just throat spray on its own if you’re having sedation you have to have an oxygen because the sedation depresses your breathing so you’ll have two tubes underneath your nose and the tubes will go round your ears and we will pop a cuff on you and a little clip to measure your pulse on your finger if you’re having a sedative they connect up to the cannula then you feel quite sleepy and obviously helps you relax and we will spray the back of the throat to make it numb the spray tastes particularly revolting and does a wonderful job of numbing the back of the throat as it numbs up it does feel really really peculiar it’s similar to when you have an injection at the dentist it makes you feel as if you can’t swallow you can’t feel it which is exactly what we need and that will help the tube go down then we’ll ask you to lie on your left hand side and bite gently on a mouth guard the mouth guard is going to protect your teeth from our instrument when they started feeding the camera down they do it really slowly and I talking to the whole time and at first it feels uncomfortable the doctor may pop the tube at the back of your throat and they ask you to swallow you’re not actually swallowing the tube what you’re doing is making that swallowing movement opens up the gullet and allows the doctor to push the tube down if you’re not having sedation this part be a little bit uncomfortable it’s the first part of passing the tube your gag reflex kicks in and you will retch pass it down into your stomach and that is the worst part of the test is over when the camera first encounters your esophagus you have to swallow to help it go through but then you get used to it and then they put the camera down further and further and before you know it the whole procedures done you may retch a bit but once it comes out you then get some fluid comes out with it and but you’re covered your clothes are protected just in case that happens the procedure was over before I even knew it only took about 10 minutes if you’ve had sedation you’re moved on the trolley into recovery you’re given time to recoup we keep an eye on your observations when you were recovered we will give you a drink and some biscuits and then we will go over the report after the procedure since you’ve had an anaesthetic you can’t drink or eat anything for 30 minutes after the procedure you may get some minor side effects like wind bloating or sore throat but these symptoms should disappear after a few days if you opt for sedation during the procedure they monitor all your vital signs and whilst you’re recovering and there’s a nurse that constantly monitors your progress seeing how you’re doing once you’ve recovered from the sedative you’re then invited to join the consultant or nurse in a room where they go through the initial findings we will explain what we’ve seen what we’ve done today what medications required or further tests and you get a copy of the report for you to take home for your information and a copy of the report for you to give to your GP plus an information leaflet now the information leaflets very important if you’ve had sedation 24 hours after the test you cannot drive or operate machinery it’s very important and that’s why we need you to be taken home with an escort eight hours if you’ve had the sedation you can’t cook use kitchen electrical appliances you can’t go to work you can’t sign any legal documents you can’t have a bath on your own unsupervised and you can’t look after dependents before you’re discharged the staff provide you with an aftercare leaflet that provides further information including a contact number to bring in case you’re worried so I was really impressed that they give you feedback or initial feedback right away after the procedure which is which helps reassure you a lot of people come with preconceived ideas about how the test is going to go it’s a really really really simple test I know it’s uncomfortable and it’s frightening coming into hospital but be reassured that we will make you as comfortable as possible and make it as anxious free as possible I would always recommend having the procedure because it can show up any problems that you may have quickly and easily I look on having the procedure quickly could possibly have saved my life

18 thoughts on “Having a gastroscopy in hospital – Patient information

  1. not gonna lie it's a very unpleasant procedure, luckily it only lasts 5-10 minutes. although i chose to only get the throat spray, the intravenous sedative may not even work properly if youre overly tense prior. Plus there's more downtime after the procedure.

    Yes, you will gag, wretch and belch repeatedly. fasting beforehand is vital, at least 6 hours no food no liquid either. the doctor was right though. he urged me to try and relax and focus on breathing through the nose. after the first 5 minutes it did get easier and I got more used to the scope. had slight stomach ache and a sore throat for a few hours after but the relatively quick recovery time was the main reason I chose not to go for the sedative. was given the all clear anyway by the doctors so really was glad to have it done in the end for peace of mind.

  2. Just had this done today, it wasn't even bad I was sedated and don't even remember or felt anything. Just woke up and it was over. Just have a sore throats and little bloating. Don't be nervous it's easy under sedation

  3. Been twice there. The beginning of the procedure – as they slide the scope down to stomach – is the challenging part. After that they start pulling it off slowly to the esophagus and it becomes easier to handle.

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