During a gastroscopy (or endoscopy) a thin tube-like telescope is inserted through your mouth to look for any problems in your oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (part of the small intestine). Diagnosing such problems is a key step to help you get the relief and treatment you need to start living a full life again.
A referral letter from a consultant or GP is required before booking any diagnostic investigation.
A gastroscopy (or endoscopy) can tell your doctor a lot about the possible causes of any problems you have in the gullet, stomach or small intestine. It’s also a useful and painless way for doctors to check how diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions are progressing.
It can be used to treat conditions such as enlarged veins or bleeding ulcers.
You might be referred for a gastroscopy if you have any of a range of symptoms, many of which will be uncomfortable and affect your enjoyment of life. They can include:
The procedure involves passing a long, thin telescopic tube through your mouth and throat into the gullet and stomach, usually after you’ve been sedated.
Since 2007 we've invested £500 million into our hospitals and staff; all patients, either insured or paying for themselves, can gain rapid access to some of the latest generation diagnostic imaging and treatments.’
You don't have to wait to have this test with us, so you can have your results in hand to quickly get on the right treatment path for your condition. We don't just offer diagnostics, but take an integrated medical approach and can organise any other care that you may need.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multidisciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will need a referral letter from a consultant or GP before booking any diagnostic investigation.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
It’s likely that both a doctor and nurse will be involved in the procedure. They understand that people can get anxious as it approaches. They’ll answer any questions you have and be there for you to provide reassurance.
You’ll remain conscious during the 10 to 30 minute procedure, although you’ll probably have had a mild sedative so you may feel very relaxed. Your clinician might also use a spray to numb your throat. You’ll be able to breathe comfortably as the tube will not be fed through your windpipe.
The doctor will then thread the tube (or endoscope) with a tiny camera on the end into your gullet and stomach. This will allow them to see pictures of what is happening in those areas.
You might feel a bit bloated at times as the clinician will pump gas into your stomach.
The tube might also take a tissue sample (a biopsy) for study in one of our labs.
The clinician will then withdraw the endoscope.
After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
If you've had an anaesthetic you’ll need a friend or relative to get you home. You’ll feel drowsy for a few hours and possibly into the next day. You might have sore throat or feel bloated around the stomach.
You might not be able to eat your normal diet for a few days depending on the type of gastroscopy you’ve had. We will advise you accordingly.
If your test was part of a range of diagnostic procedures coordinated by a Spire consultant the results should be ready several days later. We may need to make a follow-up appointment with you to discuss the results.
We take an integrated approach so we can organise any other care that you may need should your test results show something abnormal.
Even once you’ve left hospital, we’re still here for you.
On rare occasions, complications following treatment can occur. If you experience any of these symptoms vomiting blood, breathing difficulties, acute pain in the neck, chest or stomach - please call us straight away. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Bushey Hospital is situated within easy access of the M1 and M25 motorways. We are only 15 miles from London, 45 minutes drive from Luton airport and around five miles from Watford town centre, with its fast and regular train services to the capital.
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Bushey Hospital.