A gastroscopy is a diagnostic procedure that provides our doctor with the opportunity to take a close look at the lining of your stomach and oesophagus.
Gastroscopies are often used to help identify common gastrointestinal conditions, such as GERD, Barrett’s Oesophagus, bleeding ulcers, and more. This article will focus on the 8 most common conditions that can be diagnosed through a gastroscopy.
What is a Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy, also referred to as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, allows your doctor to examine the lining of your stomach and oesophagus in detail. The procedure is frequently used to diagnose common gastrointestinal diseases and determine the appropriate treatment.
The procedure uses a tiny camera mounted at the end of a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. The endoscope will be inserted through your throat and progress down the oesophagus towards the stomach. The endoscope is mounted to a camera that will transmit images captured along the procedure to the doctor through a screen as it passes along the walls of the oesophagus and stomach.
If abnormalities are observed during your procedure, our doctor may opt to do a biopsy where he removes tissue from the walls for further testing.
The entire procedure will last approximately 15 minutes or less. In some cases, you may be advised to undergo a colonoscopy at the same time for a more thorough examination of the body.
Why Should You Get A Gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy helps detect serious health conditions that may be overlooked as abdominal pain. Conditions such as GERD and H.pylori infection, which lead to chronic inflammation along the oesophagus walls, and stomach lining, can lead to cancer development if not treated early.
Scheduling regular gastroscopic investigations are essential for early cancer detection and prevention. An unwell patient may have no symptoms or minimal discomfort, but the disease can later become more severe if left unchecked.
Performing routine screenings at set intervals such as every five years (or less) can ensure better chances of recovery against any potential diseases.
What Are Common Conditions That Are Diagnosed Through A Gastroscopy?
Conditions that can be diagnosed with a gastroscopy include gastritis, H.pylori infection, hiatal hernia, gastric polyps, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s oesophagus, ulcers, and cancer.
While some of these conditions are benign and easily treatable, others can be life-threatening. It is important to consult with our doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with these conditions.
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. It can be caused by infection, stress, or certain medications. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Gastritis is usually treated with medication that reduces stomach acid or protects the stomach lining. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Gastritis is a common condition that affects people of all ages.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, see your doctor for an evaluation. With prompt treatment, gastritis can usually be effectively managed.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that infects the stomach. It is acquired through contact with contaminated food, water, or utensils, or through contact with saliva or body fluids from an infected person. H. pylori infection can cause inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the stomach lining, leading to a dull pain in the abdomen.
H. pylori infection is treated with a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medication. In most cases, the infection can be cured with this treatment. However, the condition can also lead to serious complications such as gastric cancer, so it is important to see a healthcare provider if you think you may be infected.
Hiatal hernias are common and are usually not harmful. However, they can cause symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. Treatment for a hiatal hernia may include lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery.
Surgery is typically only recommended for people who have severe symptoms that do not improve with other treatment methods.
Gastroscopy is the best way to diagnose gastric polyps. This is a procedure where a long, thin tube is passed through the mouth and into the stomach. Our doctor can then visualise the lining of the stomach and look for any abnormal growths. If gastric polyps are found, a biopsy can be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for gastric polyps usually involves surgery to remove the growths. However, regular gastroscopic surveillance may be recommended for some people with this condition.
GERD is a condition in which stomach contents flow back up into the oesophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition in which the contents of the stomach back up into the oesophagus. Gastroscopy can be used to identify this condition by checking for erosions or ulcerations in the oesophageal lining that are caused by the stomach acid.
Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition in which the tissue lining of the oesophagus changes, becoming more like the tissue lining of the intestine. This change is thought to be caused by chronic exposure to stomach acid. Gastroscopy can be used to detect this condition by looking for changes in the appearance of the oesophageal lining.
It is a precancerous condition, and patients with this diagnosis should be monitored closely by a medical professional. Treatment for Barrett’s oesophagus may include medication to reduce stomach acid production, or surgery to remove the abnormal tissue. In some cases, regular surveillance with gastroscopy may be recommended.
A perforated ulcer is a serious condition that occurs when the lining of the stomach splits open. This can happen as a result of severe inflammation or trauma to the stomach wall. When the lining of the stomach is damaged, bacteria can escape and infect the lining of the abdomen, in a condition known as peritonitis.
Peritonitis is a life-threatening infection that requires immediate medical treatment. If you suspect that you have a perforated ulcer, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Treatment typically involves surgery to repair the hole in the stomach and antibiotics to clear the infection. With prompt treatment, most people with a perforated ulcer make a full recovery.
Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that can occur in any part of the gastrointestinal tract.
Gastroscopy can be used to detect cancer by looking for abnormal growths or tumours in the stomach or oesophagus. Gastroscopy can also be used to determine the stage of cancer, which helps to guide treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with the 8 common conditions discussed above, it is highly recommended that you undergo a gastroscopy. This diagnostic procedure can help your doctor determine the cause of your symptoms and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
A gastroscopy is a quick, safe and relatively painless procedure, so there is no reason to hesitate in getting one if you think it may be necessary.
G & L Surgical Clinic endeavours to provide you with the necessary medical advice in tending to your gastrointestinal conditions. Should you have any questions pertaining to our gastroscopic procedures, you may contact us directly via WHATSAPP or call our CLINIC for assistance.