Dr Paul Dunckley

MB ChB FRCP DPhil

Gastroscopy

A gastroscopy (also referred to as an OGD or endoscopy) is an investigation to look directly at the lining of the oesophagus (the gullet), the stomach and around the first bend of the small intestine (the duodenum). It is a very accurate way of looking at the lining of your upper digestive tract, and to establish whether there is any disease present.

To do the investigation a gastroscope is passed through the mouth down the gullet and into the stomach. A gastroscope is a long flexible tube, thinner than your little finger. The gastroscope relays pictures to a television screen where any abnormalities can be seen.

A small piece of tissue (a biopsy) may be taken from the lining of your gullet, stomach or duodenum for further examination in a laboratory. This is not painful and is removed using sterile biopsy forceps through the gastroscope.

Before the test starts, local anaesthetic is sprayed to the back of the throat to ensure that it is more comfortable when the gastroscope is passed down into the gullet. There is also the option to have sedation for the procedure.

Gastroscopy

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is an investigation to look directly at the lining of the large bowel (colon). It is a very accurate way of looking at the large bowel to establish whether there is any disease present.

To do the investigation a colonoscope is passed into the back passage via the anus and then directed around the large bowel. A colonoscope is a long flexible tube, thinner than your index finger. The colonoscope relays pictures to a television screen where any abnormalities can be seen.

A small piece of tissue (a biopsy) may be taken from the colon for further examination in a laboratory. This is not painful and is removed using sterile biopsy forceps through the colonoscope.

The procedure can either be performed with or without sedation depending on the patient’s preference.

During the test, polyps (warty growths) may be found. These can be removed during the test (polypectomy). This is not painful.

Colonoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is an investigation to look directly at the lining of the end of the large bowel (colon).

To do the investigation a sigmoidoscope is passed into the back passage via the anus and then directed around the lower quarter of the large bowel. A sigmoidoscope is a long flexible tube, thinner than your index finger. The sigmoidoscope relays pictures to a television screen where any abnormalities can be seen. In order to clear the bowel and ensure that there are good views during the test, a small enema will be given before the procedure.

A small piece of tissue (a biopsy) may be taken from the colon for further examination in a laboratory. This is not painful and is removed using sterile biopsy forceps through the colonoscope.

The procedure usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. Sedation is not usually necessary.

During the test, polyps (warty growths) may be found. These can be removed during the test (polypectomy). This is not painful.

Colonoscopy

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