After a gastroscopy

Gastroscopy

After a gastroscopy, you can go home when you feel well enough. If you had sedation, you need someone to take you home and stay with you overnight. You need to rest quietly at home for the first 24 hours after sedation.

A doctor or nurse explains the results of the gastroscopy before you leave the hospital. If you had a biopsy, you need to wait for the results. You have a follow-up appointment with the doctor who referred you for the test.

Recovering after the procedure

You cannot eat or drink anything until you can swallow normally again. This usually takes about 45 minutes. You can then eat and drink as normal, unless the doctor or nurse tells you otherwise.

If you had sedation

After the procedure, we take you to the recovery area to rest quietly. The nurse checks your blood pressure and pulse. When you are ready, they take you to the discharge area where you prepare to leave the hospital. You are offered a hot drink and biscuits, if allowed.

A nurse also talks to you about the test results and gives you a copy of them. You can then leave the hospital with the person taking you home. 

You need to arrange for a family member or friend to take you home about 1 hour after the test. This person should be at least 18 years old. They need to come with you for the appointment or be available to contact by phone when you are ready to leave.

Someone also needs to stay with you overnight. You cannot drive or operate any machinery for the rest of the day. You need to rest quietly at home.

If you have not arranged for someone to come with you or collect you, we cannot give you sedation. Your procedure might be cancelled. If you cannot arrange for someone to collect you, please contact us to talk about other arrangements.

If you had throat spray

If you had throat spray, we take you to the discharge area where you prepare to leave the hospital. A nurse gives you a copy of the test results and talks to you about them. You can then leave the hospital.

Caring for yourself after you leave hospital

If you had sedation, the effects last longer than you might expect.

For the first 24 hours after sedation:

Do

  • rest quietly at home
  • call us if you have a problem or are worried about anything

Don't

  • do not drive any vehicle or ride a bicycle
  • do not operate machinery or do anything that requires skill or judgement
  • do not drink alcohol
  • do not take sleeping tablets
  • do not go to work
  • do not make any important decisions or sign any contracts or legal documents

You should be able to carry out your usual activities 24 hours after the test.

Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • you get severe pain in the tummy
  • your temperature is very high, or you feel hot or shivery
  • you are being sick (vomiting)
  • you are passing large amounts of blood after the test

If you go to your nearest emergency department (A&E), you should take the gastroscopy report that we give you after your test.

Results

We give you a printed report describing the procedure and any extra treatment that you had. A doctor or nurse explains any findings from the gastroscopy before you leave the hospital. This test might be one of a few tests that you have and so the result might not be conclusive.

If you had a sedative, it is a good idea to have someone with you when we explain the results. You might not remember all of the details afterwards.

If you had a biopsy, the laboratory examines the samples of tissue. Our clinical team then review the results. The review of results is called a virtual clinic and you do not come to this. We send you a letter explaining the results and next steps. This can take 8 to 10 weeks.

You have a follow-up appointment with the doctor who referred you for the test. At this appointment, you can talk about the results in detail and any treatment that you need. The endoscopy department cannot give you any biopsy results. 

Follow-up appointments

If you do not already have a follow-up appointment with the doctor who referred you, we send you one for the next available clinic. If the matter is urgent, you get an appointment on the same day.

If a doctor from outside the hospital has referred you, we send your results to them. Please contact your doctor or their team about a follow-up appointment if you do not already have one.

Resource number: 2044/VER6
Last reviewed: July 2021
Next review: July 2024

Contact us

Appointments

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please call 020 7188 8887.

Questions, problems or concerns

Please contact the endoscopy unit staff for advice from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

Nurse in charge: 020 7188 7188 ext 54059

St Thomas' reception desk: 020 7188 7188 ext: 54046 

In an emergency, out of hours

Out of hours means 6pm until 8am the next day and on Saturday or Sunday.

Phone 020 7188 7188 and ask to be put through to the on-call gastroenterology registrar (through an application called RotaWatch).

pals icon

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Is this health information page useful?