Gastrointestinal endoscopy

Gastroscopy (Colonoscopy Dual Procedure)

A dual procedure where a flexible tube is used to look inside the oesophagus, stomach, intestines and bowel

About gastrointestinal endoscopy

In a gastroscopy and colonoscopy dual procedure a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end (an endoscope) is inserted into the oesophagus, stomach, intestines and bowel. The camera sends images of inside your body to a monitor. It can be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    For the gastroscopy, your throat will be numbed with a local anaesthetic spray. The consultant will then guide a tube down your oesophagus and into your stomach. For the colonoscopy, your consultant will place a different tube into your large bowel through your anus. For both procedures you can choose to have a sedative injection, to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. A gastroscopy takes around 15 minutes, while a colonoscopy takes around 45 minutes. Both procedures shouldn't be painful, but they may be uncomfortable at times.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Certain medications, such as those used to treat diabetes and indigestion and blood-thinners, may need to be stopped before the procedure. It's important to let your consultant know in advance about all the medications you are taking. You'll usually be asked not to eat for approximately eight hours and to stop drinking several hours before. Exact timings should be discussed with your consultant. For the colonoscopy you will be given a laxative to take the day before. This is so that your bowel can be seen clearly during the procedure. You should stay at home to be near a toilet.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After the procedures, you'll be taken to the recovery area. If you didn't have a sedative you can usually go home soon afterwards. If you did, you'll need to rest for a few hours until the sedative has worn off. You'll also need to arrange for someone to collect you and stay with you for 24 hours as you may be less alert during this time. Before you're discharged, your consultant might be able to explain the results of the procedure to you. You may need to have an appointment a few days later to discuss the results. Your consultant will tell you if you need to make any changes to your diet during the hours or days after returning home.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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