Gastroscopy is an exploration that allows visualizing the internal contents and walls of the digestive tract, specifically the esophagus, stomach and the first portions of the small intestine. This test results from a very important source of information for the diagnosis and assessment of diseases of the digestive system; Not only allows to establish a diagnosis but also allows the specialist in the Digestive System to perform certain therapeutic techniques, since the endoscope has a working channel by which tweezers, probes, handles and other utensils are introduced for the treatment of certain pathologies of the digestive tube.
When a gastroscopy is performed
Gastroscopy is performed to evaluate digestive symptoms: heartburn, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia, etc .; Allows to take biopsies of the duodenum, stomach or esophagus, detect tumors in the early stages, resect polyps, sclerosate bleeding vessels, or bind varicose cords, treatment of Barrett's esophagus, dilatation of stenosis, etc.. Currently, the boundaries between surgical and endoscopic techniques to treat certain pathologies are increasingly blurred.
Preparation for gastroscopy
Since the practitioner needs to assess the mucosa of the digestive tract, the patient should be fasting (recommended at least 8 hours for solids intake and a minimum of 4 hours for clear liquids).
Do I have to take my usual medication?
If you take antihypertensives, it is advised before the examination (4 hours before) with a sip of water. If you take oral antidiabetics or insulin for your diabetes, since it will be fasting, do not take it until after the scan. If you take anticoagulants or antiplatelet medicines, you should consult your doctor and follow their indications.
Risks of gastroscopy
Fortunately, complications are rare: less than 1 per 1,000 scans. Some of them are: abdominal distension or pain after the examination. The presence of hypotension, phlebitis, allergic reactions, infection, bronchial aspiration, hemorrhage, perforation and cardiorespiratory arrest are generally associated with explorations for therapeutic purposes. Obviously, the health status of the patient correlates with the likelihood of presenting complications.