Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy

This is more commonly called an OGD which stands for oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy. It is also known as a Gastroscopy. This test looks at the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small bowel). These tests can show what is wrong if you are having difficulties with swallowing, indigestion, heartburn or nausea.


To allow a clear view, the stomach must be empty. You will therefore be asked not to have anything to eat or drink for at least six hours before the test.

What will happen?

In the examination room you will be made comfortable on a couch, resting on your left side. A nurse will stay with you throughout the test. The endoscopist may spray a local anaesthetic to the back of your mouth and throat to numb the area. This will make your throat feel thick and numb but it does not affect your breathing. To keep your mouth slightly open, a plastic mouthpiece will be put gently between your teeth.

This test is normally carried out without sedation and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with the doctor or nurse before the test.

When the doctor passes the endoscope into your stomach it can be uncomfortable but should not cause you any pain, nor will it interfere with your breathing at any time. The nurse will advise you to breathe normally and reassure you. It may take up to fifteen minutes to examine all the areas of the stomach carefully.

After the test

You will be supervised while you rest in the recovery unit for at least thirty minutes. If you have had only throat spray you are free to leave once you have received your discharge advice, which will also advise you to fast for one hour following the test.   You may have a mild sore throat for a day or two. All instructions will be given in the discharge advice and patients are provided with a leaflet with all information.

When will you get the results?

In many cases the doctor/nurse will be able to tell you the results straight after the test. However, if a sample (biopsy) has been taken for examination, the results may take several days. Sometimes a biopsy is taken for a ‘clo test’ which tests for the presence of an organism in the stomach which could increase the risk of ulcers. This test result will be given to you before you leave the Unit.


Share this page

Investors In People