Gastroscopy in a Nutshell
- Gastroscopy is also known as an upper-gastrointestinal tract endoscopy.
- A gastroscopy is an investigation of the oesophagus and stomach from the mouth to the start of the small intestine.
- A gastroscopy is used to detect for signs of anomalies in the stomach which includes GERD, H.Pylori Infection, stomach polyps, stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
- If you are preparing for a gastroscopy, you will be advised to fast for 8 hours prior to the procedure.
- During the investigation, samples will be extracted from the walls of the oesophagus or stomach if abnormalities are detected.
- Gastroscopy is a relatively quick procedure and will only take 15 minutes to be completed. You will be able to be discharged on the same day after the procedure.
What Is Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy, also known as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, is an investigation of the oesophagus and stomach from the mouth to the start of the small intestine. This uses a tiny camera mounted at the end of a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope.
It makes detection of conditions associated with stomach cancer much easier, such as inflammation and ulcers, as well as bacteria that increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Is There A Difference Between An Endoscopy And A Gastroscopy?
Yes. An endoscopy refers to the investigative procedure where a special camera is used to inspect for signs of abnormalities in the entire gastrointestinal tract (from the oesophagus to the anus). On the other hand, a gastroscopy, also referred to as an upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy, only checks for the beginning of the gastrointestinal tract, this will include the oesophagus and stomach.
Depending on the needs, our doctor may advise you to undergo an endoscopy (gastroscopy and colonoscopy) if there are symptoms to suggest that you may have more underlying conditions in order to diagnose and treat any conditions accordingly.
Should I Go To For A Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy allows your doctor to diagnose and investigate problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Patients who suffer from symptoms such as chronic and persistent abdominal pain or heartburn are recommended to undergo a gastroscopy to diagnose potential long term health issues.
A gastroscopy is recommended if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Recurring heartburn
- Recurring vomiting
- Any other discomfort thought to be coming from the upper gut
- You are above 40 years of age with a family history of cancer or stomach ailments.
A gastroscopy can also be used to diagnose conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and bacterial infections such as H.Pylori.
Lastly, a gastroscopy can be used to detect and manage ulcers along the stomach walls. Doctors can also detect and remove non-cancerous polyps (or growths) found in the stomach or even cancerous tumours in most cases.
Why Is There A Need To Undergo A Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy can help detect multiple serious health conditions that may be overlooked as abdominal pain. Certain conditions such as GERD and H.Pylori infections can lead to chronic inflammation along the walls of the oesophagus and stomach lining, which may lead to cancer development.
It is essential to schedule regular gastroscopic investigations as early cancer may have no symptoms or minimal discomfort. Early detection of ulcers and cancer increases the chances of a full recovery. Prevention is always better than cure.
Are You Awake During A Gastroscopy?
In Singapore, patients who undergo a gastroscopy will be placed under general anaesthesia and will remain unconscious throughout the procedure.
As a result, it is very rare that you will experience any pain during the course of the procedure.
Most patients will only awaken after the procedure has been completed and you will find yourself back in the recovery room.
Is Gastroscopy A Safe Procedure?
Gastroscopy is a relatively safe procedure with minimal risks.
In order to ensure a seamless procedure, our doctor will detail the necessary information and steps that you need to know and follow to ensure a smooth and accurate investigation.
This may include:
- How the procedure will be conducted
- Risk that may arise from the procedure
- Bowel preparation
- Fasting instructions
- Medications that should be avoided
- Food that should be taken and avoided prior to the procedure
If you are unsure of any areas prior to your gastroscopy, contact our clinic and we will be glad to assist you with your queries.
What Are the Risks Involved With a Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy is an investigative procedure and poses very few risks.
With that said, the rare occurrence of complications may occur. These include:
- Bleeding along the walls of the stomach or oesophagus
- An allergic response to the sedative used during the procedure
- A tear along the walls of the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum
With the advancement of science, doctors can perform an alternative procedure using an endoscopy capsule. The capsule is swallowed by the patient and moves down the digestive tract. The capsule will capture images along the digestive tract and send the photos to a device worn on the patient.
As this procedure is non-invasive, patients can expect fewer complications from the procedure. However, such a procedure has its disadvantages, such as the possibility of not detecting very small polyps that can be found along the stomach walls.
You are advised to speak to our doctor for a better recommendation.
How Should I Prepare for a Gastroscopy?
When preparing for a gastroscopy, patients are required to fast for up to six hours before the procedure. Our doctor may still advise you to drink certain forms of clear liquids such as water or fruit juices for hydration up to two hours before the gastroscopy.
This allows our doctor to have an unobstructed view of the inner walls of the oesophagus and stomach during the investigation.
As a precaution, you are also advised to inform our doctor if you are taking any medication, either prescribed or over-the-counter, to ensure that they do not affect the investigation’s results.
Our doctor may recommend that you stop these existing medications.
How Does A Gastroscopy Work?
A gastroscopy (upper gastrointestinal endoscopy) is usually conducted in an endoscopy centre. Anaesthesia (sedation) is administered before the procedure to prepare you for the investigation. You will be sleeping during the procedure and feel no pain.
An endoscope will be inserted through your throat during the procedure and progress down the oesophagus towards the stomach. The endoscope is mounted to a camera that will transmit images captured along the procedure to the doctor through a screen as it passes along the walls of the oesophagus and stomach.
If the presence of abnormalities are observed, our doctor may opt to do a biopsy where a tissue sample is removed from the walls for further testing for signs of possible infection or cancer.
When the procedure is done, the endoscope is retracted from the oesophagus, and you will be left in the recovery room to awaken from the sedation before being assessed to be discharged.
The entire procedure will last approximately 15 minutes or less.
What Happens After a Gastroscopy?
After completing the procedure, most patients will rest for approximately an hour before the sedative starts to wear off. Patients are advised to avoid driving for the next 24 hours to allow the sedative to wear off completely.
They are also advised to have an accompanying adult with them after the surgery should they require additional support. Should there be any abnormalities such as the presence of polyps, or redness along the walls of the stomach found during the procedure, our doctor may conduct a biopsy (tissue sampling) to run further tests.
A review will be scheduled during the week following the investigation to update you on the results.
Can I Use Insurance To Cover The Cost Of My Gastroscopy At G&L Surgical Clinic?
Our clinic staff is trained to help you work through your costing and finance concerns. G & L Surgical Clinic has partnerships with the vast majority of both local and foreign insurers.
We want our patients to have peace of mind in knowing that we are here to coordinate with their insurers and TPAs. With this out of the way, they can focus on the one thing that matters, their recovery.
Can I Use My Medisave to Pay for Gastroscopy in Singapore?
Medisave can be used to pay for a gastroscopy in Singapore although the coverage may vary. While the amount claimable may differ depending on the withdrawal limits set by the CPF Board, you will be able to use your Medisave to cover a portion of your gastroscopy or endoscopic investigation.
For a detailed cost breakdown and the claimables for your gastroscopy, consider approaching our clinic staff at G&L Surgical Clinic and we will be glad to assist you further.
How Much Does a Gastroscopy Cost in Singapore?
The doctor’s fee for a gastroscopy can range between $800 to $900 at a private hospital according to MOH’s Historical Transacted Bill Sizes and Fee Benchmark. This price can fluctuate depending on your insurance plan, deductibles (e.g. MediShield Life, Integrated Shield Plans) and MediSave payouts.
To understand the total fees for your gastroscopy, check in with your insurance provider or approach our team for financial advice.
We aim to provide you with the necessary support for a seamless experience.
Why Choose Us For Your Gastroscopy In Singapore?
Dr Ganesh at G & L Surgical Clinic strives to prioritise his patients’ recovery and comfort. Having had adequate experience in performing gastroscopies for numerous patients for many years in Singapore.
Furthermore, the staff at G & L Surgical Clinic have been thoroughly and adequately trained to make your experience a comfortable and hassle-free one. Whether you intend to undergo a gastroscopy or other medical services in Singapore, you can rest assured that you will be properly and sufficiently cared for by trained professionals.
Organise a consultation with our surgeons for further assistance on gastroscopies in Singapore.