​​​​Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy

What is Endoscopy and what does it involve?

Endoscopy, also called Gastroscopy, or oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy “OGD” involves carefully passing a thin flexible video telescope from the mouth down the oesophagus (gullet, food pipe) and into the stomach and first part of the small bowel (duodenum). Careful examination of these areas can reveal a range of gastrointestinal problems including acid reflux, stomach inflammation or ulcers, coeliac disease, anaemia, or rarely cancers. Biopsy samples (small pinches of bowel lining, a painless process) can be taken and sent to the pathologist to help confirm diagnosis.

Patients often elect to have sedation (an injection of medication to feel calm and sleepy) for the test to be more comfortable. After sedation you cannot drive and need someone to accompany you home. Less commonly patients have the test with local anaesthetic throat spray to numb the back of the throat but are fully awake for the test.

Endoscopy is very safe, takes about 10 minutes and is carried out in the Endoscopy department, with risks and benefits discussed beforehand. Patients are usually ready to leave the department approximately an hour after their test and can return to normal eating the same day, and normal activities the following day.

What is Colonoscopy and what does it involve?

Colonoscopy involves gently passing a thin flexible video telescope through the anal canal and around the large bowel (colon) and sometimes into the last part of the small bowel (terminal ileum). Careful examination of these areas can reveal a range of gastrointestinal problems including inflammation (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), diverticulosis (pockets in the bowel lining), haemorrhoids (piles) or even bowel cancer. Biopsy samples (small pinches of bowel lining, a painless process) can be taken and sent to the pathologist to help confirm diagnosis.

If pre-cancerous polyps are found they can often be painlessly removed during the same colonoscopy (polypectomy) and this prevents them going on to develop into a bowel cancer. They are sent for analysis in the pathology laboratory. Removal of polyps is how bowel cancer screening by colonoscopy prevents bowel cancer.

Patients almost always elect to have sedation (an injection of medication to feel calm and sleepy) for the test to be more comfortable. After sedation you cannot drive and need someone to accompany you home. Less commonly patients have the test with “gas and air” (Entonox) which reduces pain but are fully awake for the test.

Colonoscopy is very safe, takes about 30 minutes and is carried out in the Endoscopy department, with risks and benefits discussed beforehand. Patients need to have medication to clear the bowel beforehand (Bowel prep), and this is arranged in out patients. Patients are usually ready to leave the department approximately an hour after their test and can return to normal eating the same day, and normal activities the following day.

What they say

“Calm and reassuring”

“Thank you for your calm and reassuring expertise”

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

“Thank you – I felt no anxiety or discomfort whatsoever during the procedure”

“Thank you especially for noting my request for heavier sedation – I felt no anxiety or discomfort whatsoever during the procedure”

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

“The care and attention I received was second to none!”

“I am truly grateful for the care and attention I received, and second to none!”

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

“High level of professionalism”

“Thank you very much for you high level of professionalism regarding my health”

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

“Thank you and all the staff for the care I received”

“Thank you and you team for all your very great kind care and attention when I had my last colonoscopy – I really do very greatly appreciate it.”

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

“Thank you”

“I should like to thank you and all the staff for the care I received during the investigation and removal of my polyp”

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

“Very impressed and grateful for the care you showed”

I was very impressed and grateful for the care and skill that you showed. It was, by far, the least stressful colonoscopy I have had. Much appreciated.

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

“Wonderful standard of treatment”

Thank you very much for the wonderful standard of treatment you and you colleagues have given me: every aspect has been truly impressive.

Anonymous – Oxfordshire

You DON'T have to put up with your symptoms. Get seen by an expert

- without delay.