The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Upper Endoscopy - Gastroscopy

What is Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy, also known endoscopy is a camera test that examines the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.


It is commonly performed to investigate symptoms of indigestion but there are many other indications. You may be referred by your hospital consultant or directly by your GP but it is an extremely common procedure to be performed.

Whilst all procedures carry risks, the chance of a major complication occurring in a diagnostic gastroscopy is low.

During the procedure

The flexible endoscope is passed through the mouth as far as the duodenum and then carefully withdrawn to provide views of all areas of the upper digestive tract. The procedure takes between 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Pain relief

The options for reducing discomfort  during the procedure are:

  • Lignocaine throat spray, which is a local anaesthetic, can be applied to the throat to numb it and reduce the sensation at the back of the throat.
  • Sedation, which will make you feel relaxed and sometimes drowsy. This can be combined with painkilling injections and throat spray to minimise discomfort.

After the procedure

Following a gastroscopy, you will be discharged from the department the same day. If you have local anaesthetic you will be able to leave the endoscopy unit soon after.

If you have sedation you will need to recover in the unit for a few hours after. You will need someone to collect you from the endoscopy unit, take you home (not on public transport) and someone to stay with you for 24 hours you cannot drive a car,  operate machinery or go to work for 24 hours.

If you would like to know more about gastroscopy you should read the patient information leaflet below.

Before you leave the endoscopy unit the nurses will give you advice about what to expect after your test and a contact number in case you experience any problems.

Download more information