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Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy


At Mater Health Services we understand that being in hospital can be a very stressful experience. This booklet aims to alleviate some of your concerns in keeping with our Mission to offer compassionate, quality care that promotes dignity while responding to patients’ needs. It explains briefly the events that may occur during your visit and the things to expect when you are discharged from the hospital.

It is, however, only a guideline as each person may require differing treatments.

If you have any questions about your treatment please ask your doctor or nurse.

Our pastoral care team offers a caring support network to all patients. The dedicated members of this team will visit you during your stay and are available at your request to discuss any anxieties or problems that you may have.

What is is an endoscopy?

An upper endoscopy (also known as gastroscopy) is a procedure that enables your doctor to examine the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract—the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine)—using a thin flexible tube with its own camera.

Prior to your procedure


  • Please confirm your booking five days prior to procedure by phoning 07 3163 8183 (Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 4 pm).
  • Discuss with your doctor which medications you will need to stop prior to your procedure (e.g. Aspirin, iron, diabetic medications, anti-inflammatory medications). It is important that you mention all medications you take in case special precautions are required.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home from hospital. Please bring their contact details to hospital with you (we do not have waiting areas for friends and relatives in the unit). If you are catching a taxi please arrange someone to accompany you.

What preparation is required?

  • Your stomach must be completely empty.
  • You should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately six hours prior to your admission time.
  • If you need to take any tablets, these can be taken with a small drink of water.

On your admission

Your nurse will explain the procedure fully to you and will answer any of your questions and concerns. Your procedure itself will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

What to expect during your endoscopy

To prevent discomfort during the gastroscopy you will receive intravenous sedation that will cause you to become slightly drowsy. You may have no memory of the procedure. You will still be able to respond to directions and you will be able to breathe normally.

After your procedure

You will be transferred from the procedure room on a trolley to recovery where your observations will be monitored. When the sedative effect has worn off and you are feeling more awake you will be given a light meal prior to going home.

It is not usual for your doctor to visit and discuss things with you after your procedure because you will still feel drowsy.

Your results will be discussed with you at your follow-up appointment.

An appointment will be made prior to discharge and you will be given both a written and verbal explanation of possible complications by the nursing staff.

Because a sedative is used for this procedure

  • you must arrange for someone to take you home. They will need to collect you from the Day Procedure Unit, level five, Mater Hospital Brisbane.
  • you are required to stay in hospital for a minimum of two hours following the procedure.
  • you are required, by law, not to drive a vehicle (including bikes, motor bikes), operate machinery or sign legal contracts for a minimum of 24 hours.

What to expect after your gastroscopy

  • You may resume your normal daily routine including working the day after your procedure, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • Resume normal eating habits unless instructed otherwise.
  • For at least 24 hours after your procedure you should not
    • drive a car, motorcycle or ride a bicycle
    • drink any alcohol
    • make any decisions or sign important papers
    • walk home
    • use hazardous machinery including the stove
    • engage in sports or heavy lifting for 48 hours
    • travel alone by public transport (bus, train or plane).


Please contact Mater Hospital Brisbane Procedure Unit on 07 3163 8496, Mater Hospital Brisbane Emergency Department on 07 3163 8111 oryour general practitioner (GP) if any of the following occur after discharge:

  • vomit blood or notice black or bloody stools
  • difficulty swallowing or talking
  • shortness of breath
  • fast heart beat
  • increasing chest or abdominal pain
  • neck or shoulder pain or fever.

Mater Hospital Brisbane

Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Q 4101

Phone 07 3163 8111


Staff at Mater Hospital Brisbane, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Q 4101

© 2010 Mater Misericordiae Ltd ACN 096 708 922

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-420042
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 11/8/2015
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