Upper Gastrointestinal endoscopy (gastroscopy) is a procedure performed by a surgeon, a well-trained sub-specialist who uses the endoscope to diagnose and, in some cases, treat problems of the upper digestive system. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end.
By adjusting the various controls on the endoscope, the surgeon can safely guide the instrument to carefully examine the inside lining of the upper digestive system.
Diagnostic Indications for Endoscopy
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Persistent isolated nausea or vomiting. In the event of isolated nausea or vomiting persisting for more than 2 days, investigation of the upper gastrointestinal tract is justified after any non-gastrointestinal origin and acute intestinal occlusion have been eliminated.
- Digestive disorders. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is recommended in:
- In subjects aged over 45 years and/or if there are any warning signs or symptom’s such as anaemia, difficulty swallowing, weight loss or any other warning signs and symptoms
- In subjects aged under 45 years with no warning signs or symptoms, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is recommended in the following situations:
- Positive diagnostic test for Helicobacter pylori
- When symptomatic treatment has failed or recurrence occurs at the end of treatment
- Chronic anaemia and/or iron deficiency anaemia. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is recommended in iron-deficiency anaemia and/or iron deficiency, after any non-gastrointestinal origin has been eliminated.
- Acute gastrointestinal bleeding originating in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is recommended as first choice in acute digestive bleeding which is assumed to originate in the upper gastrointestinal tract (haematemesis or melaena)
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD). Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is recommended if there are symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux combined with warning signs (weight loss, dysphagia, bleeding, anaemia), or if the patient is aged over 50 years, or if there is a recurrence on withdrawal of treatment or resistance to medical treatment.