Gastroscopy Singapore: When is it Necessary?

A gastroscopy is a medical procedure which involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube with a camera into the mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine. It’s commonly used to diagnose issues like ulcers, inflammation, or tumors.

See more here: Gastroscopies are typically performed by gastroenterologists. It is a quick procedure which takes about 15 to 45 minutes and you will most likely be able to go back home on the same day of the procedure.

When is Gastroscopy Necessary?

A gastroscopy shouldn’t hurt, however, considering that it involves the insertion of a tube through your throat; it may sound a little scary. This is why many people ask; when is gastroscopy necessary? Gastroscopy may be recommended if you’re experiencing;

  • Unexplained Abdominal Pain

To begin with, you may be recommended gastroscopy in Singapore if you report persistent abdominal pain without an apparent cause. This discomfort warrants a gastroscopy as it may signal various underlying issues like ulcers, inflammation, or even tumors within the gastrointestinal tract.

Gastroscopy allows doctors to visually inspect the stomach and upper intestine, to identify abnormalities, and determine the root cause of the abdominal pain. This procedure does not only allow timely diagnosis. It also facilitates appropriate treatment to alleviate discomfort and prevent potential complications down the road.

  • Bleeding in the Upper Digestive Tract

Blood in vomit or black, tarry stools could indicate gastrointestinal bleeding. This bleeding could originate from conditions like peptic ulcers, esophageal varices, or gastritis.

Gastroscopy allows your doctor to directly visualize the source of bleeding. It also allows for easy assessment of its severity, and intervention to promptly control hemorrhage and prevent further complications like anemia or shock.

What’s more, biopsy samples can be obtained during gastroscopy to help in the diagnosis of the underlying cause of bleeding. The results will then guide subsequent management strategies effectively.

  • Persistent Nausea and Vomiting

You may also be recommended a gastroscopy in Singapore if you’re battling chronic or severe nausea and vomiting. This is especially true when the nausea and vomiting is unresponsive to conservative treatments.

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These symptoms may be due to various gastrointestinal disorders, including gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or even gastric cancer. Gastroscopy allows clinicians to assess the condition of the stomach lining.

They also allow for accurate detection of any abnormalities or signs of inflammation, and rule out structural abnormalities which could be contributing to your persistent nausea and vomiting. The accurate identification of the underlying cause accurately facilitates the implementation of targeted therapies to alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life.

  • Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)

Difficulty swallowing is also known as dysphagia. It is a complicated condition which can significantly impact your eating and drinking habits.

Dysphagia may result from conditions like esophageal strictures, tumors, or inflammation. Gastroscopy enables clinicians to evaluate the esophageal anatomy.

This makes it easy to identify any narrowing or obstruction and pinpoint the underlying cause of swallowing difficulties. Importantly, interventions like dilation or stent placement can be performed during gastroscopy to alleviate esophageal strictures and restore normal swallowing function. This way, it can improve your nutritional intake and overall well-being.

  • Unexplained Weight Loss

Gastroscopy may also be warranted if you experience unexplained weight loss. This is particularly important when the weight loss is accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Unintentional weight loss can also be indicative of various underlying conditions, including malabsorption syndromes, celiac disease, or gastrointestinal cancers.

With gastroscopy, your clinician cannot only easily assess the condition of the upper gastrointestinal tract. They can also identify any structural abnormalities, and obtain biopsy samples for further evaluation.

What should you not do Before a Gastroscopy?

Before your gastroscopy in Singapore, you should expect to be given specific guidelines to ensure the success and safety of the procedure. Here is a quick summary of what you should not do before a gastroscopy and what you should do;

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What You Should Not Do:

  • Eating and Drinking: You will be required to avoid consuming any food or beverages for at least 6 hours before the gastroscopy. This fasting period ensures that your stomach is empty. It is particularly stressed upon to help the endoscopist with a clear view during the procedure. However, you can have small sips of water up to 2 hours before your appointment.

What You Should Do:

  • Medication Disclosure: Inform the healthcare provider about any medications you’re currently taking. This is particularly important if you’re on anti-platelet or anticoagulant medicines like aspirin, clopidogrel, and warfarin, etc. Importantly, be sure to disclose the use of sedatives, chronic pain medications, or drugs for diabetes management.
  • Communication Upon Receiving Appointment Letter: Contact the healthcare facility upon receiving your appointment letter to discuss any necessary adjustments to your medication regimen. Depending on your individual case, you may need to temporarily stop or modify certain medications before the procedure.
  • Discontinuation of Acid-Reducing Medications: If you take medications to reduce stomach acid, such as omeprazole or esomeprazole, it’s typically advised to discontinue them two weeks prior to the gastroscopy. However, always follow the guidance provided by your doctor or nurse. Exceptions may apply if your gastroscopy is part of long-term condition management or a repeat procedure.
  • Continuation of Other Medications: Unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare provider, continue taking all other medications as usual. It’s important that you maintain your regular medication regimen unless there are specific contraindications related to the gastroscopy.

Closing Thoughts

Several clinical situations warrant gastroscopy in Singapore. With this diagnostic procedure, your doctor can visually inspect your upper gastrointestinal tract and create appropriate management strategies to improve your treatment outcomes and quality of life.

We help with gastroscopy alongside other diagnostic procedures for the disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. To learn more about the procedure or see your suitability for the procedure, get in touch with our team to schedule your appointment. You can call or visit us at;

Ace Specialist Surgery and Endoscopy

3 Mt Elizabeth #15-14

Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre

Singapore 228510

(65) 6737 1800


Gleneagles Medical Centre

6 Napier Road, #05-02

Singapore 258499

(65) 6252 1800