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Is Gastroscopy Considered Surgery?

There are many medical procedures performed every day, but not all of them are considered surgery.

One such procedure is gastroscopy, which involves examining the upper digestive tract by inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into the mouth and down to the stomach. This procedure is commonly used to diagnose and treat various conditions affecting the oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine.


Definition of Surgery

Before determining whether gastroscopy is considered surgery, it is important to understand what surgery actually means.

Surgery is defined as “the treatment of injuries or disorders of the body by incision or manipulation, especially with instruments.” This definition implies that any procedure involving a cut, incision, or manipulation can be classified as surgery.


Examples of Surgical Procedures

Some common examples of surgical procedures include appendectomy (removal of the appendix), cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder), and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

These procedures require incisions to access and remove affected organs or tissues.

Other known surgeries include open heart surgery, brain surgery, and even cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation or liposuction.


Is Gastroscopy a Surgical Procedure?

Based on the definition of surgery, it can be argued that gastroscopy is a surgical procedure. The insertion of the endoscope through the mouth and down to the stomach involves manipulation and sometimes even incision to obtain tissue samples or remove any abnormalities.

However, in medical terminology, surgery is typically defined as an invasive procedure that involves making an incision and entering the body’s internal organs. In this sense, gastroscopy may not be considered a surgery, as it does not involve cutting open the body’s external layers.


The Classification of Gastroscopy

To avoid confusion, the medical community has classified gastroscopy as a minimally invasive procedure, rather than a surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures are defined as those that use small incisions or natural body openings to examine and treat internal organs. These procedures are often performed using specialised tools and small cameras, like the endoscope used in gastroscopy.


Examples of Minimally Invasive Procedures

In addition to gastroscopy, some other common minimally invasive procedures include colonoscopy, laparoscopy, and arthroscopy.

These procedures also use specialised tools and cameras to examine and treat specific areas of the body without making large incisions.


Benefits of Gastroscopy as a Minimally Invasive Procedure

The classification of gastroscopy as a minimally invasive procedure has many benefits for patients.

Firstly, it reduces the risk of complications and side effects that may occur with traditional surgery. As there are no large incisions, the chances of infection, bleeding, or scarring are significantly reduced.

Also, since the procedure is less invasive, recovery time is shorter, and patients often return to their normal activities sooner. This also means less post-procedure pain and discomfort for patients.



While gastroscopy involves manipulation and sometimes even incision, it is not typically classified as surgery. Instead, it falls under the category of minimally invasive procedures, which use small incisions or natural body openings to examine and treat internal organs.

This classification has many benefits for patients, making gastroscopy a safe and effective option for diagnosing and treating various conditions affecting the digestive tract.

You can also get more information about the specific medical procedures considered surgery and those that fall under minimally invasive procedures by consulting with your gastro doctor or healthcare provider.

Remember, it is always best to have a thorough understanding of any medical procedure before undergoing it, to make informed and confident decisions about your health. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.