Gastroscopy consist of inserting a flexible fibre-optic tube through the mouth to the stomach and just beyond it to the second part of the small bowel. It has a camera, which can take photographs and relay images to the monitor. It also has a channel through which various tubes can be passed to any area of interest to take biopsies or deliver local treatment through the endoscope. It is usually done under conscious sedation and pain killers to make it comfortable for the patient. Similarly, colonoscopy is an endoscopic test to look into the large bowel.
Gastroscopy is an integral part of investigation for people with suspected sever indigestion, suspected ulcers or inflammation to the lining of the stomach or cancer. It is used frequently for people with liver disease to assess for varicose veins at the bottom of the gullet or stomach called varices.
Presence of varices marks the presence of serious liver damage and does need treatment with medication called beta blockers or rarely with endoscopic therapy.
Dr.Sharma is a very experienced endoscopist who has a particular interest in doing gastroscopies in patients with suspected or confirmed liver disease.