Gastroscopy is a medical procedure used to visualize the inside of the upper gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It is performed using an endoscope, a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at one end.
The endoscope is inserted through the mouth and down the throat into the stomach. The camera gives the doctor a clear view of the inside of the gut, which can be used to diagnose and treat conditions such as ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.
Why do I Need a Gastroscopy?
Your doctor may recommend gastroscopy in Singapore if you have symptoms that may be indicative of a problem in your upper gastrointestinal tract, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss and
- Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract
Other notable instances when a gastroscopy may be recommended include;
- When your doctor wants to take a biopsy (tissue sample) from your gastrointestinal tract
- When you have had an x-ray that showed an abnormality in your gastrointestinal tract
- When you have had an endoscopy that was inconclusive
What can be diagnosed by Gastroscopy?
As the endoscope is passed through the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach and duodenum, it emits a bright light and transmits images to a monitor, which the gastroenterologist can see. Gastroscopy allows the assessment of the mucosal surface of these organs.
It can be used to diagnose a wide range of conditions, including esophageal and gastric cancer, peptic ulcer disease, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and food intolerance.
It can also be used to detect foreign bodies, such as swallowed objects or ingested toxins. In some cases, biopsies (tissue samples) can be taken during gastroscopy for further testing.
Gastroscopy is generally a safe procedure with a low risk of complications. In rare cases, though, serious complications can occur, such as bleeding or perforation (tear) of the gastrointestinal tract.
For this reason, gastroscopy should always be carried out by experienced medical professionals in a suitably equipped hospital or clinic. It can take about a week to get the results from a gastroscopy. The doctor will review the results and send a report to your primary care physician or specialist.
How much is Gastroscopy in Singapore?
The cost of gastroscopy in Singapore can range from $600 to $2000, depending on the clinic and the doctor you see. The procedure is typically covered by insurance, but there may be some out-of-pocket costs depending on your policy. There are a few factors that can influence the cost of a gastroscopy, such as;
- The type of clinic you go to (public vs. private)
- The doctor you see (general practitioner vs. specialist)
- The complexity of the procedure
- Whether or not you need sedation and
- Your insurance coverage
It is always best to check with your doctor or clinic ahead of time to get an estimate of the cost of your gastroscopy. This way, you can be prepared financially and avoid any surprises.
Is a Gastroscopy Painful?
Because you have to swallow a long and thin tube for gastroscopy, it is easy to imagine the procedure as being extremely uncomfortable. Now, gastroscopy is not painful, per se.
Some people experience mild discomfort, but most report that the examination is quite tolerable. Rarely some people may feel more discomfort due to gas or a stomach upset.
If you are feeling anxious about the procedure, discuss this with your doctor ahead of time. They may be able to prescribe a mild sedative to help you relax. Here are five more helpful tips to help you stay calm during gastroscopy;
- Distract yourself: Focusing on something else can help take your mind off the procedure. You can bring along a book, magazine, or music to listen to during the exam.
- Try deep breathing exercises: Taking slow, deep breaths can help you relax your body and mind.
- Focus on the positive: Remember that gastroscopy is a quick and relatively painless procedure that can provide valuable information about your health.
- Talk to your doctor: If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to ask your doctor ahead of time. This will help you feel more prepared and at ease.
- Sedation: If you are particularly anxious about the procedure, your doctor may recommend sedation. This can help you relax and even sleep through the exam.
How do I prepare for a Gastroscopy?
Like any other medical procedure, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions on how to prepare for a gastroscopy. This will help ensure that the procedure goes smoothly and that you get the most accurate results.
In general, you will be asked to;
- Not eat or drink for four to six hours before the procedure: It is important that your stomach is empty for the exam so the doctor can get a clear view. If you have any concerns about not eating or drinking, be sure to ask your doctor ahead of time.
- Take any medications as prescribed: If you take medication regularly, you will likely be asked to continue taking it as usual up until the day of the procedure. Be sure to ask your doctor if there are any special instructions for taking your medications before the exam.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home: You will not be able to drive home after the procedure, as you may feel groggy from the sedative. Be sure to arrange for someone to pick you up and take you home.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions: Your doctor may have other specific instructions for you to follow before the procedure. Be sure to ask if you have any questions or concerns.
A gastroscopy is a quick and relatively painless procedure that can provide valuable information about your health. So, if you have been experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, heartburn, or difficulty swallowing, be sure to talk to your doctor. They may recommend a gastroscopy to help diagnose and treat the underlying condition.
Our team of experienced gastroenterologists at Alpha Digestive & Liver Center is dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate care. We offer a wide range of gastrointestinal procedures, including gastroscopy. Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment. Call: (65) 6235 9658 or visit us at;
Alpha Digestive & Liver Centre | Dr Benjamin Yip
3 Mt Elizabeth #15-09
Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre
+65 8876 9034