Gastroscopy (or Endoscopy) is an examination of the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (upper part of the small bowel) using a flexible telescope with a small camera and light source. It allows for procedures to be carried out such as tissue samples (biopsies), removal of polyps and the stopping of bleeding. An alternative method of examination of the oesophagus is by x-ray (Barium Meal). Gastroscopy has the advantage over x-ray tests of generally being more accurate for detecting diseases and allows for biopsies to be taken and polyps removed.
Patients have a gastroscopy to treat certain conditions through the gastroscope, or they may have symptoms of indigestion or discomfort suggesting an ulcer.