ExitCare ImageGastroscopy is a procedure that allows your caregiver to look at your stomach and duodenum. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine. This procedure is used to find and diagnose problems such as:

  • Gastric and peptic sores (ulcers).

  • Cancer.


  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.

  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems, including diabetes and kidney problems.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.


Problems do not occur often with this procedure, but they are possible. Possible problems include:

  • Infection.

  • Bleeding.

  • Damage to the gastrointestinal tract.


  • Do not eat for 8 hours before the procedure, or as instructed by your caregiver.

  • You may drink clear beverages up to 3 hours before the procedure. Ask your caregiver if it is okay to take any needed medicines with a sip of water in the 3 hours before the procedure.

  • If you have diabetes and need to take insulin, ask for instructions on how to do this before the procedure.


Gastroscopy is done while you are awake. You will not need pain medicine. The procedure usually takes about 1 hour.

  • Your throat may be sprayed with medicine that numbs the area (local anesthetic).

  • You may be given medicine to help you relax (sedative).

  • You will lie on your side.

  • A thin, lighted tube (gastroscope) will be inserted through your mouth and down the esophagus. A camera is attached to the gastroscope that allows your caregiver to see inside the stomach.

  • A tissue sample (biopsy sample) may be taken during the procedure.


  • When you are awake, feeling well, and taking fluids well, you may be allowed to go home.

  • If you were given a sedative, you will be taken to a recovery area. A nurse will watch and check your progress.

  • If you were given a sedative, have someone to drive you home.