The term 'gastroscopy' is a medical procedure that lets Dr. Coovadia visually inspect the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract. This includes your oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum, which is the upper portion of your small intestine.
Dr. Coovadia uses a thin, flexible tube called a gastroscope for this procedure. The gastroscope has a lens and light source on its tip, and it sends the video it captures to a video monitor so that Dr. Coovadia can view and interpret the images. A gastroscopy is performed with local anaesthetic (spray applied to the mouth) and conscious sedation to make it a safe, comfortable, and well tolerated procedure.
A gastroscopy can be investigative or therapeutic and is performed to find the source of symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. It is the best modality of treatment to find the source of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. During a gastroscopy, Dr. Coovadia will evaluate the upper gastrointestinal tract for inflammation, ulcers, or tumours. He can also take biopsies (samples of tissue), to determine the cause of symptoms experienced by the patient. For example, a biopsy can test for Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that is associated with gastric ulcers.
For the best and safest examination, you should have an empty stomach when you come for your gastroscopy. Please ensure that you are NIL-PER-MOUTH (Do not have anything to eat or drink, including water), for approximately six hours prior to your procedure.
Please inform Dr. Coovadia and his team in advance of any medications you are currently taking, particularly antiplatelet agents (Aspirin/Clopidogrel), insulin, arthritis pain medications, anticoagulants (such as blood thinners like warfarin, Xeralto or heparin), or iron supplements. You may have to adjust your normal dose before your procedure. Also discuss any medication allergies you may have, as well as any medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease.
You should continue to take your medications as usual unless Dr. Coovadia specifically informs you not to. Some medications can interfere with your preparation or with the examination.
For many, entering the endoscopy theatre can be a very daunting experience. Be rest assured that your endoscopy team prides itself on patient comfort and safety. You will be attached to cardiac and respiratory monitors, which will be monitored throughout the procedure. Your anaesthetist will start by spraying your throat with a local anaesthetic spray (this is to anaesthetize your throat, adding to the comfort of the procedure) prior to administering your sedation medication.
Once you are sedated, Dr. Coovadia will pass the gastroscope through your mouth and proceed with the remainder of the gastroscopy.
After the gastroscopy, our nursing staff will monitor your recovery while the sedation wears off. Your throat may feel a little sore, and the air introduced into your stomach during the procedure might cause you to feel slightly bloated. These are both minor and temporary conditions.
You will be able to eat after the procedure unless Dr. Coovadia instructs you otherwise. He will explain the results of the examination to you, although you may have to wait for the results of any biopsies.
As you may have received sedatives for the procedure, you must have a relative or friend drive you home. Even if you feel alert, your judgment and reflexes may be impaired for the rest of the day. You should avoid completing any legal documents or operating heavy machinery for 24 hours following your sedation.
Although complications can occur, they are rare, especially when trained and experienced gastroenterologists like Dr. Coovadia performs the procedure. A perforation or puncture in your gastrointestinal tract lining is extremely rare and very uncommon during this procedure.
Minor bleeding can occur following polyp removal. This is often minimal and will resolve within 72 hours. Should you experience any further bleeding or discomfort following your endoscopy, please contact Dr. Coovadia’s team for further evaluation and advise.
Although complications are very uncommon, you should learn to recognize their early symptoms. Contact Dr. Coovadia or the Mediclinic Panorama Emergency Centre immediately if you have a fever after the gastroscopy, if you have trouble swallowing, if you experience increasing throat, chest, or abdominal pain or if you notice any prolonged bleeding, including internal bleeding that reveals itself in black stools.
If you have any concerns about a possible complication, it is always best to contact Dr. Coovadia right away.