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Examination of the Stomach

Dedicated Gastroscopy Centre In Singapore

Also known as Oesophago-Gastro-Duodenoscopy, a gastroscopy is a safe diagnostic procedure which allows your doctor to diagnose and investigate problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract. It can help detect multiple serious health conditions that may be overlooked as abdominal pain. Gastroscopy is typically done as an outpatient procedure and you can go home on the same day.


What Is A Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy – also known as upper GI endoscopy – is a procedure to examine the esophagus, stomach, and the start of the small intestine (duodenum) with the use of an instrument called the gastroscope. The gastroscope has a long, thin, and flexible tube with camera systems and capabilities to perform procedures such as biopsy and removal of polyps.
The examination is done by a gastroenterologist or surgeon with years of special training. Usually, gastroscopy is performed under moderate sedation, and most patients are “sleeping” and may not remember the procedure.

Why Is There A Need To Undergo A Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy can help detect multiple serious health conditions that may be overlooked as abdominal pain. Certain conditions such as GERD and H.Pylori infections can lead to chronic inflammation along the walls of the oesophagus and stomach lining, which may lead to cancer development in the longterm.

It is essential to schedule gastroscopic investigations as needed, as early cancer may have no other symptoms or minimal discomfort. Early detection of ulcers and cancer increases the chances of a full recovery due to expediated treatment and reduced complications.

Those with Barrett’s oesophagus are required to have regular gastroscopies. The procedure is done to check if there are any malignant changes in the cells found in the lining of the food pipe that can lead to cancer. During the routine endoscopies, biopsies or samples of abnormal looking areas will be taken. The samples are sent to the laboratory to be examined.

Do I Need A Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy allows your doctor to diagnose and investigate problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Patients who suffer from symptoms such as chronic and persistent abdominal pain or heartburn are recommended to undergo a gastroscopy to diagnose potential long term health issues.

Gastroscopy is also considered the primary tool for oesophageal and stomach cancer risk assessment and prevention. A gastroscopy can be used to detect and manage ulcers along the stomach walls. It can also help prevent cancers in patients with high risk factors. Doctors can also detect and remove non-cancerous polyps (or growths) found in the stomach or even cancerous growths in some cases.

A gastroscopy is recommended if you have any of the following persistent symptoms:

Your Gastroscopy At Curasia

What To Expect During The Procedure?



Anesthesia (sedation) is administered before the procedure to prepare you for the investigation. You will be sleeping during the procedure and will feel no pain.

Endoscope Insertion

A camera is mounted to the endoscope which is inserted into your throat. The endoscope will transmit images captured along the stomach and oesophagus to the doctor through a screen.


If the presence of abnormalities are observed, our doctor may opt to do a biopsy where a tissue sample is removed from the walls for further testing for signs of possible infection or cancer.

Endoscope Retraction and Resting

When the procedure is done, the endoscope is retracted from your oesophagus. You will remain in the recovery room for the sedation to wear off and awaken.

Your Treatment Roadmap

Preparing For A Gastroscopy

A gastroscopy often takes less than 15 minutes, although it may take longer if it’s being used to treat a condition or remove polyps. A spray may be applied to the throat to numb it, and you will be asked to remove any dentures or plates. You will also be sedated before the procedure commences.

Make sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or have any health conditions, such as heart disease or cancer. This information helps your doctor know whether to take any necessary precautions to perform the procedure as safely as possible.

Blood tests might be done before the procedure to check the blood level and how well it clots. If you are taking regular medications, you need to inform the doctor about it so they will know if you are taking something that changes how your blood clots.

You should also tell your doctor about any allergies you have and about any prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking.

Some medications can increase your risk for bleeding during the procedure. These medications include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heparin
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Aspirin
  • Any other blood thinners


Any medications that cause drowsiness can interfere with the sedatives that the procedure will require. Antianxiety medications and many antidepressants could affect your response to the sedative. If you take insulin or other medications to control diabetes, it’s important to make a plan with your doctor as well so your blood sugar doesn’t get too low.

For your safety, the doctor may tell you to change your dosage or to stop taking certain medications before the endoscopy. This is why a pre-procedure consultation is required.

Make sure you understand the risks of the procedure and the complications that might occur. Complications are rare, but can include the following:

  • Aspiration occurs when food or liquid gets into the lungs. This can happen if you eat or drink before the procedure. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions about fasting to prevent this complication.
  • An adverse reaction may happen if you’re allergic to certain medications, such as the sedatives you’re given to relax during the procedure. These drugs can also interfere with other medication you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you’re taking.
  • Bleeding can occur if polyps are removed or if a biopsy is performed. However, bleeding is usually minor and can easily be remedied.
  • Perforation can happen in the area being examined. However, this is highly unlikely.

You will be sedated to help you relax during the endoscopy. You shouldn’t drive after the procedure because the sedatives will make you drowsy. Arrange to have someone pick you up and drive you home.

You shouldn’t eat or drink anything before the procedure. This includes gum or mints. However, you can usually have clear liquids after midnight 6-8 hours before the endoscopy if your procedure is in the afternoon. Clear liquids include:

  • water
  • coffee without cream
  • apple juice
  • clear soda
  • broth


You should avoid drinking anything red or orange.

Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and avoid wearing jewellery. You’ll be asked to remove glasses or dentures before the procedure.

Make sure to fill out the consent form and any other paperwork that your doctor has requested.

You may have mild discomfort in your throat after the procedure so do take the time to drink loads of water and to avoid fried food so as not to aggravate the discomfort in your throat.

The sedatives may take a while to wear off. Therefore, it is recommended to take time off work or to avoid signing any important documents as you may not be in the best state of
mind to make important decisions. For your own safety, you should also avoid driving and operating machinery until you’re completely recovered.

Is Gastroscopy A Safe Procedure?

Gastroscopy is a relatively safe procedure with minimal risks. In order to ensure a seamless procedure, our doctor will detail the necessary information and steps that you need to know and follow to ensure a smooth and accurate investigation.

Why Choose Curasia For Your Colonoscopy?

Accredited Colorectal Specialist

Our specialists are all experienced and accredited by Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB).

Located in Heartlands

Our centre is conveniently located at Jurong East and easily accessible from any neighborhood.

Dedicated Colonoscopy Centre

We hold ourselves to the highest of standards as the center is accredited by the Ministry of Health.

Transparent Pricing

Our centre provides pricing information before the procedure, not after.

Frequently Asked Questions

Anesthesia (sedation) is administered before the procedure to prepare you for the investigation. You will be sleeping during the procedure and feel no pain. An endoscope will be inserted through your throat during the procedure and progress down the oesophagus towards the stomach. The endoscope is mounted to a camera that will transmit images captured along the procedure to the doctor through a screen as it passes along the walls of the oesophagus and stomach.

These are the common factors:

  • Fasting 6-8 hours before the procedure
  • Stopping of certain medications
  • Accurate medical history


Make sure to follow all your doctor’s recommendations.

After completing the procedure, most patients will rest for approximately an hour before the sedative starts to wear off. Patients are advised to avoid driving and operating machinery for the next 24 hours to allow the sedative to wear off completely.

Yes, you can. Please feel free to contact us to obtain precise gastroscopy fees. Our friendly clinic staff will be glad to assist you with the available financing options.

Meet Our Specialist

Dr Dennis Koh

Clinical Governance Officer



Dr Dennis Koh graduated from University of Nottingham, United Kingdom with a Bachelor in Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery (MBBS) as well as a Bachelor in Medical Science. He then furthered his medical education and embarked on his surgical training in Singapore. He obtained his Master of Medicine in Surgery from National University of Singapore in 2005.

Introducing Curasia Endoscopy Centre

Our host, Jerald Foo, will be taking you to our first centre at Jurong East.

What is Gastroscopy or OGD?

Also referred to as Oesophago-Gastro-Duodenoscopy, gastroscopy is a safe diagnostic procedure used to visualise the lining of the food pipe, stomach, and the small intestine. The procedure uses a small and flexible tube known as an endoscope. Gastroscopy is used to perform biopsies and diagnose stomach problems.

Your doctor will also fix an appointment where the gastroscopy procedure and findings will be explained (this also includes the results of any biopsies taken). The appropriate management plan will also be discussed. You will also be advised on the precautions and possible complications of the procedure.

When is Gastroscopy Recommended?

Gastroscopy is done to further investigate certain digestive symptoms before duodenal, esophageal, and stomach diseases are diagnosed. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Upper abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Recurrent or persistent vomiting and nausea
  • Reflux symptoms like acidic taste, throat symptoms, and heartburn
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Black stool or blood present in the stools


Gastroscopy is also considered the primary tool for esophageal and stomach cancer risk assessment and prevention. It can also help prevent cancers in patients with high risk factors. Gastroscopy can also detect precancerous growths and remove them during the process to prevent them from becoming cancerous.

What Can You Expect During the Procedure?

A gastroscopy is a short procedure that typically takes less than 15 minutes. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the throat. Once the local anaesthetic has been administered, a small plastic guard is placed in the mouth to protect the teeth and hold the mouth open. A sedative medication may also be given to help the patient relax. The patient will lie down on their left hand side and the endoscope is inserted into the throat.

The endoscopist will then navigate the scope down the throat and into the stomach.  There is no discomfort or gagging sensation felt by the patient as both the topical local anaesthesia and intravenous sedation are administered. Most patients will report that they don’t feel any discomfort during and after the scopes.

As the endoscope moves down the oesophagus, doctors may do any of the following:

  • Observe the upper digestive tract for abnormalities using images that are transmitted by the endoscope
  • Gently blow air into the stomach to ensure a better view (this is where any unusual lumps, holes, redness, blockages, and other abnormalities can be seen)
  • Remove a tissue sample (biopsy) if abnormalities are detected (procedure is painless)


As soon as the examination is complete, the endoscope will be gently pulled out of the mouth. The patient will be taken to a recovery area to rest for around an hour or until the sedative has worn off.

How Can You Prepare for the Procedure?

Patients scheduled for gastroscopy will need to fast for at least 6 hours prior to the procedure. Generally, most medications can be continued except for blood thinners and diabetic medications.

Since you will be given medications that can make you sleepy, you must not work or drive after the procedure It is likely that you will be asked to avoid any of the following in the next 24 hours after the procedure:

  • Drive
  • Drink alcohol
  • Sign important documents
  • Operate machinery


It is possible that you will also experience throat or stomach pains after the procedure. This is normal and should disappear in a few hours. However, you need to visit the hospital or get in touch with your doctor right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • High temperature
  • Dark or black poop
  • Severe chest or stomach pain

Gastric Pain: When to See Your Doctor

If you frequently have irregular meals with long fasting intervals and /or lead a stressful life, it is quite likely that you have experienced at least one episode of “gastric pain. Simply put, this refers to pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Other symptoms include bloating, belching, nausea, and heartburn (burning pain in the chest).

Gastric pain is sometimes referred to as non-ulcer dyspepsia or functional dyspepsia by your doctor. When you have such pains, your doctor will recommend ruling out organic causes first. Some of the possible organic causes include inflammation, ulcers, infection by Helicobacter Pylori, and cancer.

If these test results are negative, the gastric pain is then referred to as non-ulcer dyspepsia. The term dyspepsia refers to the presence of recurrent or persistent discomfort or abdominal pain centered in the upper abdomen.

When to Visit Your Doctor

If you suffer from gastric pain and have the following signs and symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately:

  • passing out black stools (bleeding in stomach) – melaena
  • Vomiting blood
  • persistent vomiting after eating
  • drastic and unexplained weight loss
  • excruciating and severe upper abdominal pain


In addition, you should see a doctor if these symptoms and signs have appeared just recently and persist. In many cases, gastric pain symptoms are mild, episodic, and are long-standing. Some can even have had such pains that began many years ago. Those symptoms are less likely to indicate any serious health issues.

Organic Causes of Gastric Pain

Non-ulcer dyspepsia has no definite cause. However, many doctors associate it with stress.

In a minority of cases, the tests can reveal that the underlying cause can be any of the following:

Gallstone Disease

Gallstones typically do not have any symptoms or signs. However, when the gallbladder is inflamed or there is blockage of the bile duct, the patient can experience severe upper abdominal pain.

Occasionally, gallstones can also cause blockage of the bile duct or significant gallbladder inflammation. CT scans and ultrasound scans can help detect the presence of gallstones and their complications.

Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

This is a chronic condition where the bile or stomach acid flows back (ie reflux back) into the esophagus (food pipe) and irritates its lining. To rule out GERD, a gastroscopy may be recommended.

A thin tube that contains a tiny camera at the tip is passed through the mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach and first part of the duodenum. (EGD – esophagogastroduodenoscopy)

Dyspepsia (Peptic Ulcer Disease)

Dyspepsia is caused by inflammation /”sores” in the stomach’s innermost layer or duodenum wall (where the small intestine connects to the stomach). Some are severe enough to cause erosions resulting in defects Most peptic ulcers are caused by the Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) infection.

At times, it can also be attributed to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like painkillers or aspirin. H. pylori infection can be ruled out through a stool test, blood test, urea breath test, or by tests done during endoscopy.


Pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, or stomach cancer can also cause persistent upper abdominal pain. Cancer is ruled out during endoscopy as this allows the endoscopist to remove small pieces of tissue (biopsy) after which these can be examined for cancerous cells under the microscope (histopathology).

Alternatively, non-invasive methods e.g. barium meal x-ray examination may also be done – but these are increasingly obsolete.

Ways to Prevent Gastric Pain

Whether it’s non-ulcer dyspepsia or caused by something else, simple lifestyle changes can lower your risk of experiencing gastric pain. Some of the ways you can avoid gastric pain include:

  • Eating on time and not skipping meals. Gastric juices (peptic acid) is then regulated to be secreted only during mealtimes and not erratically.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can increase the production of stomach acids, can slow down healing, and can increase your risk of getting stomach cancer.
  • Better stress management. Highly stressful situations can increase the production of gastric juices in the stomach. Exercising regularly and adopting activities such as yoga and meditation can help you manage your stress better.

Medisave & Insurance Shield Plan Approved

For Singaporeans & Singapore Permanent Residents

We provide comprehensive financing options for a seamless and hassle-free screening experience for our patients with various insurance plans. Some plans include cashless services for colonoscopies. To learn more about your financing options and check your eligibility for a cashless procedure, contact our friendly clinic staff for assistance.

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