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After a Gastroscopy: What To Do or Not Do

Going through medical procedures can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. One of the common procedures that people undergo is a gastroscopy, which involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into your throat to examine your oesophagus, stomach and small intestine.

While the procedure itself may be uncomfortable, it is usually quick and can provide important information about your digestive health. That’s why it is best to have the know-how on what to expect and do after a gastroscopy.

 

What Happens During the Procedure

Before the procedure, your doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare.

This may include fasting for a certain amount of time and avoiding certain medications. During the gastroscopy, you will be given a sedative to help you relax and minimise discomfort.

The doctor will then insert the tube through your mouth and into your throat. You may feel some gagging or discomfort, but it should not be painful. The camera at the end of the tube will send images to a monitor, allowing your doctor to examine your digestive organs.

 

Recovery after Gastroscopy

After the procedure, you will be monitored for a short period until the sedative wears off. It is recommended that you have someone accompany you home, as the sedative may make you drowsy.

You may experience mild side effects, such as a sore throat, bloating or gas. These should subside within a day or two. It is also common to have a slightly hoarse voice due to the tube used during the procedure.

 

What To Do After a Gastroscopy

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions after the procedure to ensure proper healing and avoid any complications. Some common recommendations include:

 

1) Rest and hydrate

After the sedative wears off, it is best to rest and avoid any strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help flush out any remaining medication from your system.

 

2) Resume normal diet

Unless instructed otherwise, you can resume your normal diet after a gastroscopy. If you experience any discomfort or have trouble swallowing, stick to soft foods for a day or two, such as soups, smoothies or mashed potatoes.

 

3) Take any prescribed medication

Your doctor may prescribe medication to help with any discomfort or prevent infection.

Make sure to follow the instructions and finish the entire course of medication. If you have any concerns or experience severe side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

 

4) Give your throat a rest

Your throat will be sensitive after the procedure, so it is best to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or consuming foods that may irritate your throat.

Sucking on ice chips or throat lozenges can help soothe any discomfort. You can also try gargling with warm salt water to ease any discomfort.

 

5) Monitor for any complications

While complications are rare, it is important to be aware of any warning signs, such as severe pain, bleeding, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

 

What Not To Do After a Gastroscopy

Just as important as knowing what to do after a gastroscopy is knowing what not to do. Here are some things to avoid:

 

1) Eat or drink too soon

It is important to wait until the sedative has fully worn off before eating or drinking anything. This will help prevent choking or aspiration.

 

2) Smoke

Smoking can irritate your throat and increase the risk of complications. It is best to refrain from smoking for at least a day after the procedure.

 

3) Consume alcohol

Alcohol can interact with any medication you may be taking, and also irritate your throat. It is best to avoid drinking for at least a day after the gastroscopy.

 

4) Drive or operate machinery

As mentioned before, the sedative used during a gastroscopy can make you drowsy. It is important to refrain from driving or operating any machinery until the effects have fully worn off.

 

Takeaway

A gastroscopy may seem intimidating, but it is a safe and important procedure for maintaining good digestive health. By following your doctor’s instructions and taking care of yourself after the procedure, you can ensure a smooth recovery and prevent any complications.

Remember to also speak to your gastro doctor if you have any concerns or experience severe side effects. No matter what, your health should always be a top priority, and proper aftercare is key in maintaining it.

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