Panendoscopy

Also known as gastroscopy, panendoscopy allows the gastroenterologist to comprehensively examine the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum using an endoscope.

The endoscope is a long thin flexible tube equipped with a miniature video camera and fibre optic lighting at its tip. It is inserted through the mouth and advanced inside slowly guided by the camera image.

Images are seen on a monitor and are recorded for later study and confirmation if required. Panendoscopy also allows the gastroenterologist to take tissue samples (biopsies) for histopathological testing and polyps can also be removed during the procedure.

This procedure is performed to investigate or confirm conditions such as:

  • Ulcer disease
  • Achalasia
  • Barret’s oesophagus
  • Coeliac disease
  • Gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Dyspepsia
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Sedation

This procedure requires intravenous sedation via a small needle to a vein at the back of the hand or in the arm. In some patients the injection may cause a local reaction and sometimes bruising under the skin may occur. But these are usually reversible local reactions and will resolve in a few days. The throat may be sprayed with a local anaesthetic agent to lessen the feel of the endoscope tube being inserted. The throat may feel numb for a short time and will resolve in a few hours.

Complications

In some patients, temporary discomfort or pain may occur due to the introduction of air into the stomach or bowel. In rare instances major complications like perforation (puncture) of the oesophagus, stomach, small bowel or colon can occur. Haemorrhage (bleeding) following removal of polyps, infection, cardiac or respiratory arrest related to sedation/anaesthesia may also occur.

If you wish to discuss the potential risks or any issues regarding your procedure(s) in more detail, please speak with the gastroenterologist.