Procedures (Digestive System)
What is the test?
Gastroscopy is a diagnostic procedure used
to detect various abnormalities in the esophagus, stomach, and small upper
bowel, such as bleeding, chronic heartburn (also called “reflux disease”),
hiatal hernia, and ulcers. A narrow, flexible tube with a tiny video camera at
its tip is inserted through the mouth, down the esophagus (the “swallowing
tube”) and into the stomach. During the procedure, the camera displays video
images, enabling the gastroenterologist to get a detailed look at the inside of
your upper digestive tract. During this procedure your doctor also has the
ability to take small tissue samples for biopsy. At Cayuga Medical Center, we
offer both adult and pediatric gastroscopy.
How do I prepare?
You may consume only clear liquids after
midnight on the night before a morning exam. At three hours prior to the exam
time, you should consume nothing more. (These instructions are for an early
morning procedure and are modified if your exam is scheduled for late morning
or afternoon.) If you are taking aspirin or blood thinners, talk with your
doctor about the possible need to discontinue them prior to your gastroscopy.
Since you will be under mild sedation
during the exam, you must bring a friend or family member with you to review
the test results and discharge instructions, and to drive you home after the
exam. Please make arrangements ahead of time for transportation. If you need to
use taxi or bus service for transportation, you must be accompanied by a family
member or friend. We require this because the sedation you will receive prior
to the gastroscopy remains in your system and can slow your reaction times. You
will be mildly sedated and should not drive for 12 hours following the
procedure. Sedation can also make people forgetful so plan the rest of your day
Sedation can also make people forgetful, so
plan the rest of your day accordingly.
What can I expect during the procedure?
Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your
procedure. Once you arrive in the Endoscopy Department, a nurse will take your
health history and blood pressure, and the doctor will answer any questions you
have about the exam. You may receive an intravenous sedative to make you
drowsy. The physician will then introduce the endoscope through your mouth and
will advance it slowly into the esophagus and, if necessary, into the stomach.
The procedure itself lasts from 5 to 20 minutes, and you should plan to spend a
total of 1-2 hours in the medical center.
How and when will I get my test
After your exam, you will be moved to the
recovery area of the Endoscopy Department until you are fully awake and meet
certain discharge criteria. Your physician will discuss the results with you and
your companion and send a report to your primary care provider. Your companion
should drive you home. You may resume eating soon after your procedure.
Where is the test performed?
Gastroscopy is performed at Cayuga Medical
Center at 101 Dates Drive, off NYS Route 96 in Ithaca, and at Surgicare, which
is located at Convenient Care at Ithaca, Arrowwood Drive, off Warren Road in