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Is Gastroscopy Painful?

There are millions of people who go through a gastroscopy every year. However, many individuals have concerns about the procedure and often wonder if it will be painful.

Today, we will discuss what is gastroscopy, whether it is painful, and how you can experience a more comfortable procedure.


What is Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy, also known as an upper endoscopy or oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD), is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the inside of your upper digestive tract. This includes your oesophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine, known as the duodenum.

During a gastroscopy, your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope with a light and camera attached. The endoscope is inserted through your mouth and into the oesophagus, allowing your doctor to see any abnormalities or issues in your upper digestive system.


Is Gastroscopy Painful?

The thought of having a long tube inserted through your mouth may sound uncomfortable or even painful.

However, with the advancements in technology, gastroscopy has become a relatively painless procedure. During the procedure, patients are typically given a mild sedative to help relax, and fall asleep for 10 mins.

In addition, modern endoscopes are designed to be thinner and more flexible, making it easier for doctors to manoeuvre through the digestive tract without causing significant discomfort.

The procedure is also usually performed under conscious sedation, which means the patient undergoing the procedure is completely asleep and anesthetic spray also numbs the throat and makes it less sensitive to any irritation caused by the endoscope.


Possible Discomfort

While gastroscopy is generally not considered a painful procedure, patients may experience some discomfort. Such discomforts include:

  • 5-10% of the patients can have throat ‘discomfort’ for 1-2 days after the procedure
  • A feeling of fullness or bloating during and after the procedure
  • Mild cramping in the abdomen after the procedure as air is pumped into the stomach to expand it for better visibility

These discomforts are typically mild and short-lived.. In some cases, patients may also experience a sore throat or mild symptoms of acid reflux after the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter medications.


How to Make Your Gastroscopy More Comfortable

To ensure a comfortable gastroscopy experience, here are some tips that you can follow:


1) Communicate with your doctor

If you have any specific concerns or worries about the procedure, make sure to discuss them with your doctor beforehand. They may be able to provide you with additional information or reassurance.


2) Follow pre-procedure instructions

Your doctor will likely give you some instructions to follow before your gastroscopy, such as fasting for a certain amount of time. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully to avoid any discomfort during the procedure.


3) Relax

It is natural to feel anxious before a medical procedure, but try to relax as much as possible. Deep breathing exercises or listening to calming music can help ease any nerves.


4) Your Doctor May Administer Sedation

Your doctor may administer sedation medication to reduce your discomfort during the procedure. This will make you feel more relaxed and less aware of any discomfort.

Sedation is commonly given through an intravenous (IV) line. The level of sedation can vary from conscious sedation all the way to deeper sedation. This depends all on your medical history and any pre-existing conditions, and the doctor’s advice.



While gastroscopy may cause some discomfort, it is generally not considered a painful procedure.

With modern technology and proper preparation, patients can have a comfortable experience during their gastroscopy. It is important to communicate with your doctor and follow any instructions given to ensure a successful and pain-free procedure.

So, if you are scheduled for a gastroscopy, there’s no need to worry about pain, as it will likely be a quick and tolerable experience. Just make sure to relax and follow the tips mentioned above for a comfortable gastroscopy procedure.