Understanding Gastroscopy Your Comprehensive Guide to the Procedure in Singapore

Gastroscopy, also known as an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, is a medical procedure that allows physicians to examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract. It is a valuable diagnostic tool used to investigate various symptoms and conditions related to the digestive system. In Singapore, gastroscopy is a common procedure performed in medical facilities across the country. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of gastroscopy, its purpose, procedure, benefits, risks, and what to expect when undergoing this examination in Singapore.

What is Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope through the mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). This endoscope is equipped with a light and camera, allowing the gastroenterologist to visualize the inner lining of these organs on a monitor in real-time.

Purpose of Gastroscopy:

  1. Diagnostic Purposes: Gastroscopy helps in identifying the cause of symptoms such as persistent abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
  2. Screening for Diseases: It is used for screening and early detection of conditions such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus, and even certain cancers of the upper digestive tract.
  3. Treatment: During gastroscopy, therapeutic procedures can be performed, such as removing polyps, stopping bleeding, dilating strictures, and collecting tissue samples for biopsy.

Procedure of Gastroscopy in Singapore:

In Singapore, gastroscopy is typically performed in a hospital or endoscopy center by a trained gastroenterologist or endoscopist. Before the procedure, patients are usually given sedation to help them relax and minimize discomfort. The steps involved in a gastroscopy Singapore procedure include:

  1. Preparation: Patients are instructed to fast for a certain period before the procedure, usually overnight, to ensure that the stomach is empty. This helps to obtain clearer images and reduces the risk of aspiration during the procedure.
  2. Sedation: Upon arrival at the facility, patients are administered sedatives intravenously to induce a state of relaxation and drowsiness. Some patients may fall asleep during the procedure and have little to no recollection of it afterward.
  3. Insertion of Endoscope: Once the patient is sedated, the gastroenterologist gently inserts the lubricated endoscope through the mouth and guides it down the throat into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
  4. Visualization and Examination: As the endoscope advances, the camera captures high-definition images of the gastrointestinal tract, which are displayed on a monitor in real-time. The gastroenterologist carefully examines the lining of the organs, looking for any abnormalities, such as inflammation, ulcers, tumors, or bleeding.
  5. Biopsy or Therapeutic Interventions: If necessary, the gastroenterologist may perform biopsies by using specialized instruments to collect small tissue samples for further analysis. Additionally, therapeutic interventions such as removing polyps or stopping bleeding can be carried out during the procedure.
  6. Completion and Recovery: Once the examination is complete, the endoscope is gently withdrawn, and the patient is taken to a recovery area where they are monitored until the effects of sedation wear off. Patients are usually able to resume their normal activities within a few hours after the procedure.

Benefits of Gastroscopy:

Gastroscopy offers several benefits, including:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: It allows for a direct visual examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract, enabling the gastroenterologist to accurately diagnose various conditions.
  2. Minimally Invasive: Gastroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that is generally well-tolerated by patients and has a low risk of complications.
  3. Early Detection: It enables the early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal conditions, including precancerous lesions and early-stage cancers, leading to better outcomes.
  4. Customized Treatment: Gastroscopy allows for therapeutic interventions to be performed simultaneously with diagnostic procedures, offering patients prompt and personalized treatment.

Risks and Complications:

Although gastroscopy is considered safe, there are some risks and potential complications associated with the procedure, including:

  1. Reaction to Sedation: Some patients may experience adverse reactions to the sedatives used during the procedure, such as respiratory depression, low blood pressure, or allergic reactions.
  2. Perforation: In rare cases, the endoscope may cause a perforation or tear in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which may require surgical intervention to repair.
  3. Bleeding: Biopsies or therapeutic interventions performed during gastroscopy may cause minor bleeding, which usually stops on its own but may require additional treatment in some cases.
  4. Infection: There is a slight risk of infection, particularly if the endoscope becomes contaminated or if biopsies are taken.

What to Expect After Gastroscopy:

After the procedure, patients may experience some temporary side effects, including a sore throat, bloating, and mild discomfort in the abdomen. These symptoms typically resolve within a day or two. Patients are usually advised to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or making important decisions for the rest of the day due to the lingering effects of sedation.


Gastroscopy is a valuable diagnostic and therapeutic procedure used to evaluate and treat various gastrointestinal conditions. In Singapore, gastroscopy is readily available in medical facilities across the country, allowing patients to undergo comprehensive evaluation and receive personalized treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms related to the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, or persistent heartburn, consult a healthcare professional to determine if gastroscopy is appropriate for you. Remember, early detection and treatment can lead to better outcomes and improved quality of life.

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