A gastroscopy is an examination of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract - the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). This is done using a flexible, tube-like telescope called an endoscope, which is about the thickness of a little finger. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and into the oesophagus. The procedure may also be simply referred to as an endoscopy.
A gastroscopy is useful for finding out what is causing your symptoms, or as a check-up for certain gastrointestinal conditions. During the procedure, the doctor may take a biopsy - a sample of the lining of the gullet, stomach or duodenum - for examination in the laboratory.
Gastroscopy is routinely performed as an outpatient or day case, requiring no overnight stay in hospital. A general anaesthetic is not generally required, but you may be given a sedative to help ensure that you are relaxed and comfortable.