Gastroscopy, outpatient

Information in English about gastroscopy - preparation, the procedure and what to expect after procedure.

You have been referred to a gastroscopy. The examination will be performed at Endoskopiafsnit K, Entrance 7J, Nielsine Nielsens Vej 41K. If you are unable to meet at the given time, please let us know immediately at telephone number 3863 5468 between 08.00-15.00.


To prepare for this procedure your stomach must be empty. You will need to stop eating 6 hours before the examination. You can drink water, tea or coffee (without milk), but you will need to stop drinking 2 hours before the examination.

If you take any medicine regularly in the morning, you can take this with one glass of water in the morning on the day of your examination. However, this does not apply to medicine for diabetes. Medicine for diabetes can only be taken after the examination when the effect of the local anesthesia wears off.

You must brush your teeth thoroughly before the examination.

Before your upper endoscopy procedure, you’ll be asked to lie down on a table on your left side. Monitors may be attached to your body to allow your health care team to monitor your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.

You will have a plastic tube inserted with a needle into a vein in your forearm before the examination. You may receive a sedative medication given through the tube, which helps you relax and reduce the discomfort during the endoscopy.

The examination

The examination is not painful, but it can be unpleasant when the endoscope is passed through your throat. You will be offered a mixture of local anesthesia to drink. If you have the local anesthesia you must not eat or drink until 2 hours after the examination because of the risk of getting food or drink into the your windpipe.

The doctor will insert the endoscope in your mouth. The endoscope is thin and flexible and has a tiny camera attached to the end of the scope. You will be asked to swallow as the scope passes down your throat. The endoscope doesn’t interfere with your breathing through mouth or nose.

The endoscope will pass and examine your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. If necessary, the doctor can collect a tissue sample through the endoscope. The doctor watches the video monitor to guide the tools.

When the doctor has finished the exam, the endoscope is slowly retracted through your mouth. An endoscopy typically takes 10-15 minutes – depending on your situation.

After the procedure

The doctor will tell you about the examination and the preliminary results and arrange the treatment and whether you will need a new appointment. If tissue samples were taken, the results will be available 10 days after the examination.

If you have been sedated, you must rest in the recovery unit of the endoscopy before you go home, and you may not drive a vehicle, a bicycle or work with heavy machinery for the next 24 hours.

It is normal to experience some mildly uncomfortable signs and symptoms after endoscopy, such as bloating and gas, cramping and/or a sore throat. These signs and symptoms will improve with time.

Complications to the procedure

An endoscopy is a very safe procedure and severe complications are rare. However, there is a small risk of causing a hole, or perforation, of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The risk of this complication is very low, but it increases if additional procedures, such as dilation to widen your esophagus, are performed.

A small risk of bleeding after an endoscopy is increased if the procedure involves removing a piece of tissue for testing (biopsy).

Reaction to sedation

Feeling tired, weak, nausea or having transient memory loss are all mild side effects to sedative medicine.

Adverse reactions to sedatives such as respiratory depression or low blood pressure are very rare. You will be monitored closely during the procedure to reduce risk of serious reaction. If you have a serious reaction to the sedative, an antidote will be injected.