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Gastroscopy Singapore

Dr. John Hsiang – Specialist in Endoscopy and Gastrointestinal Diseases

When would I need a Gastroscopy?

A Gastroscopy (or upper GI endoscopy), is done by your Doctor to detect serious health conditions in the upper gastrointestinal tract. This includes the detection of cancerous polyps, inflammation, and Helicobacter Pylori inflammation.

This examination also helps your Doctor find out the cause of your symptoms and prescribe you the right treatment.

A gastroscopy is often done while you are asleep under sedation.

Some Symptoms that may require a Gastroscopy:

What is a Gastroscopy?

A Gastroscopy, also known as an Upper GI Endoscopy, is a procedure to examine the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).

It is done by having a gastroscope safely inserted through the mouth and maneuvered by your Doctor.

A gastroscope is a flexible tube with a camera attached to it. This gives your Doctor an internal view of your upper digestive system to detect abnormalities such as polyps, ulcers, inflammation, or cancerous growths along the mucosal lining.

If your Doctor discovers these issues during an examination, they can remove any polyps or tissues to be sampled for further investigation.

What is a Gastroscopy?

A Gastroscopy, also known as an Upper GI Endoscopy, is a procedure to examine the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).

It is done by having a gastroscope safely inserted through the mouth and maneuvered by your Doctor.

A gastroscope is a flexible tube with a camera attached to it. This gives your Doctor an internal view of your upper digestive system to detect abnormalities such as polyps, ulcers, inflammation, or cancerous growths along the mucosal lining.

If your Doctor discovers these issues during an examination, they can remove any polyps or tissues to be sampled for further investigation.

When a Gastroscopy may become necessary:

If you experience persistent or unexplained abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing heartburn, or sudden unexpected weight loss – you should consult the doctor for a Gastroscopy.

Another indication of needing a Gastroscopy is when there is a suspicion of bleeding in your upper digestive system due to vomiting blood or digested blood (which appears to look like coffee grounds) or black tarry stools. A Gastroscopy will likely stop the bleeding almost 90% of the time once its source is found.

It is worth noting that Asians and men are more prone to developing stomach cancer. Early screening can help patients receive treatment at a stage where the disease is still fully curable. During this procedure, biopsies can be taken from any polyps or suspicious areas of the digestive tract for further laboratory testing.

What happens during your procedure

Usually, a Gastroscopy is done while you are asleep due to the sedatives that will be administered to you. An anesthetic will also be sprayed into your throat to numb your swallowing sensation.

You will be placed on your side and given to wear a mouth guard to prevent yourself from biting on the scope. With the necessary preparations in place, your Doctor will proceed with the gastroscopy examination.

The whole procedure should take about 10 to 15 minutes and you should be discharged within the same day. You will be advised not to drive or operate machinery for the day due to the drowsiness you may feel from the sedatives.

What Happens During Your Procedure

1) Sedation

During the procedure, you will be given sedative to help you relax and feel more comfortable. These are injected into your vein so you would be sleepy throughout the procedure and anesthetic spray applied to the back of your throat so your throat will be numb for the next 30 minutes.

The sedative may make you drowsy, but you can still breathe normally. Your heart status, breathing and blood oxygen level will be monitored during and after the procedure.

2) Insertion of Endoscope

Once you are comfortable, the doctor will gently insert a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope into your mouth and guide it down your throat to reach your stomach.

The endoscope has a light and camera at its tip, allowing the doctor to see images of your digestive tract on a monitor. (show a photo or picture or AI made photo on gastroscopy into the stomach)

Photo A and C - normal white light examination. Photo B and C – NBI images of focal areas of abnormalities

3) Examination and Biopsy

As the gastroscope (endoscope) is slowly moved through your oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum, the doctor will look for any abnormalities or signs of disease. The process usually takes between 8 to 12 minutes.

If necessary, the doctor may also take a small tissue sample (biopsy) for further examination. This is done using special instruments passed through the endoscope. Routinely the doctor may take biopsies to rule out Helicobacter pylori infection, which is a bacteria causing inflammation of the stomach.

Sometimes the doctor will use ‘narrow band imaging’ (NBI), a special filtered light technique to closely examine parts of the stomach or oesophagus where the areas of inflammation or abnormalities will show up better.

4) Completion

Once the examination is complete, the endoscope will be removed from your body. You will then be monitored for a short period to ensure that there are no complications from the procedure.

You might feel throat discomfort and bloating from the air used to inflate your digestive tract, but it should soon pass.

Preparing for Gastroscopy

Before the procedure, it is crucial to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have or medications you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.

It would be best if you also mentioned any allergies or reactions to medications in the past. Sometimes, the doctor will find out about more by examining your upper airway or ask you if you snore at night, to assess your risk of complications from sedation.

To ensure a clear view of your food pipe, stomach and the duodenum, you will need to fast for at least 6 hours before the procedure. This includes food, water, and chewing gum.

If you have diabetes or are on medications that require food intake, consult your doctor for further instructions.

Since you will be under sedation during the procedure, it is essential to arrange transportation home afterward. You are not allowed to drive, or operate heavy machinery on the day and after the procedure, especially you have received sedation.

You may feel drowsy or lightheaded, and driving may not be safe until the effects of sedation wear off completely.

It is best to dress in comfortable, loose clothing for your procedure. This will make it easier for you to change into a hospital gown, and allow the doctor to assess your upper digestive tract more easily.

Avoid wearing jewellery or other accessories that may interfere with the procedure.

Before your gastroscopy, bring any necessary documents with you to the procedure. This may include a referral from your primary care physician or insurance information.

It is also helpful to have a list of questions prepared for your doctor regarding the procedure and potential follow-up care. You are advised to arrive at the hospital two hours prior to the actual procedure time, to allow ample time for registration, pre-procedure clearance check.

Common Questions about Gastroscopy

Your doctor will provide specific instructions, but in general, you should maintain an empty stomach for 6 hours before the procedure. You can still consume medications with sips of water until 4 hours prior the the procedure time

You may also need to stop taking certain medications that can interfere with the results of the examination. Be sure to inform your doctor about any allergies or medical conditions prior to the procedure.

Your doctor will provide specific instructions, but in general, you should maintain an empty stomach for 6 hours before the procedure. You can still consume medications with sips of water until 4 hours prior the the procedure time

You may also need to stop taking certain medications that can interfere with the results of the examination. Be sure to inform your doctor about any allergies or medical conditions prior to the procedure.

Most patients can return to their normal activities within a few hours after the procedure. However, it is recommended to avoid driving and operating heavy machinery on  the same day due to the sedation effects. Patients can resume normal daily activity such as driving the next morning.

Eating and drinking can also be resumed, typically after the throat numbing wears off, which may take a few hours.

The results of the procedure are typically available immediately, as your doctor will discuss them with you after the examination. In some cases, a biopsy may be taken and sent to a lab for further analysis, which may take a few days.

Your healthcare provider will inform you when to expect the results and discuss any necessary follow-up steps.

It depends on your individual circumstances and the reason for your previous gastroscopy. Most patients do not need a repeat gastroscopy for another 2-3 years, depending on the findings of the prior gastroscopy.

If there were abnormalities or concerns that require ongoing monitoring, it is possible that you may need to undergo another procedure in the future. Your doctor will discuss this with you based on your specific case.

gastroenterology specialist singapore

FELLOWSHIP TRAINED SPECIALIST

Dr. John Hsiang

MBChB (NZ), FRACP (Australasia), MD (Doctorate), FRCP (Edinburgh), FAMS (Gastro)

Dr. John Hsiang is a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience in public and private practice.

Dr. John’s special clinical interests are in gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach conditions, fatty liver, and gastrointestinal cancer screening

Dr. John has spent more than five years in the Singhealth cluster serving in the Gastroenterology Department at Changi General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.

Clinical interests:

Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal Diseases, Helicobacter Pylori Infection, Viral Hepatitis, Fatty Liver Diseases, Management of Abnormal Liver tests.

Dedicated Insurance Support

We understand that navigating the financial aspect of healthcare can be overwhelming. We welcome all patients with or without insurance and can assist with claims regardless of your personal or corporate insurance plan.

Here at Richmond Gastroenterology Centre, we strive to ensure the most efficient claims process for our patients. To that end, our team works diligently with their insurers to obtain Letters of Guarantee and pre-authorization certificates prior to any procedures.

Make an appointment to consult our Doctor.

We understand your anxieties and we are here to support you throughout your health journey. If you have questions or would like to seek a 2nd opinion, send us your message via the form below.

To get an immediate response, you may also call us at: 6517 9958

Dr. John Hsiang is an Accredited Specialist Across All Private Hospitals in Singapore.