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Possible Complications with Gastroscopy
Preparation for Gastroscopy
Cancellation Policy


A gastroscope is a flexible tube, which is passed through the mouth into the upper bowel. The gastroscope is used to diagnose diseases of the upper bowel including ulcers, polyps, cancer, inflammation, and infections. A biopsy (removal of a small tissue sample) may be taken to further study the stomach lining.

Possible Complications with a Gastroscopy

  • Bleeding can occur rarely in 1 in 1000 patients.
  • Perforation (a hole) can occur unintentionally in less than 1 in 6000 cases on average. If perforation or significant bleeding occurs, surgery in the hospital may be required.
  • Sometimes lesions can be missed, especially if the preparation is not very good (i.e. retained food, excess liquids). This can occur in less than 5% of cases.

Prior to completing the procedure, the doctor will discuss the possible risks of complications with the patient. We encourage patients to use this opportunity to have an open dialogue about any concerns they may have with respect to the proposed procedure. Patients should familiarize themselves with the consent form that will need to be signed prior to undergoing any procedure at the clinic.


Sedation is given by a physician through an IV site that is started before the procedure begins. This is to make sure that the patient is comfortable and without pain throughout the procedure. Heart, blood pressure, and breathing is monitored throughout the procedure. The medication begins to work immediately and will last for the duration of the procedure. Sometimes the medication can cause stinging at the injection site.

Prior to the procedure, a bite block will be placed between the upper and lower teeth to prevent unconscious biting and damage to teeth and/or caps. Although, there is a possibility that teeth can get chipped while unconscious.

Possibilities of side effects/complications can arise such as an allergic reaction, blood pressure fluctuations, and rare heart or lung complications. More serious complications are extremely rare. Please discuss any further questions with the anesthetist.

Patients may feel disorientated, forgetful, and or sleepy for a short time following the examination. This is due to the sedation. As a result patients may not remember what they have been told about the test. For this reason each patient will be provided a copy of the written findings to take home for later reference. A full report will be sent to the referring doctor within 3 – 5 business days of the procedure.

Preparation for Gastroscopy

Consult your physician about the use of medication during this preparation period. Heart, blood pressure, asthma and epilepsy medication may be taken in the morning of the appointment, with a small sip of water.

Fasting Instructions

  • If your Gastroscopy appointment is in the morning, nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day before your appointment.
  • If your Gastroscopy appointment is in the afternoon, nothing to eat after midnight the day before your appointment. Nothing to drink 6 hours before your appointment time.
  • If you are also having a colonoscopy procedure, a bowel cleanse prodcut must be taken before the procedure. Please refer to the colonoscopy preparation instructions for details.

Post Procedure Instructions

Arrange for a family or friend to drive you home after the procedure. You are not permitted to drive after the procedure and for the remainder of the day, as you will receive IV sedation for the procedure. Following your procedure, you must remain with this person for the remainder of the day.

Cancellation Policy

To cancel or reschedule an appointment you must provide at least 3 business days notice or you will be charged a $150.00 cancellation fee.


1. How long will the procedure take?

The procedure itself takes approximately 30 minutes. However, expect to be at the clinic for up to 3 hours due to the time required to complete registration, pre-operative preparation and recovery. We highly recommend that you do not book any appointments after the procedure.

2. Can I drive home after my procedure? Can I go back to work after my procedure?

You will be sedated for the procedure. As a result you will not be able to drive until the following morning. Do not go to work after the procedure.

3. Should I continue to take my medications/vitamins prior to my procedure?

Unless you have specific instructions from your doctor, you may take your blood pressure and heart medications in the morning but with a small sip of water. Diabetic patients will need special instructions.

4. As a diabetic, how can I fast for so long?

We recommend that you book one of the first appointments in morning to reduce the time required to fast. We also suggest you bring a snack with you to have after your procedure is completed. Please consult your doctor on how to take your diabetic medications and insulin the day before and the day of the procedure.

5. Can I stay awake during the procedure?

It is highly recommended by the physicians to receive the sedation. It makes it easier for you and the physician alike. However, if you absolutely want, you have the option to not be sedated. Should you choose this option we will make a note on your referral that you have requested “No Sedation.”

6. Can I take a taxi home?

You are permitted to take a taxi home ONLY if you have an escort or have somebody that can accompany you when you get home.

7. Can my spouse/family member stay with me during the procedure?

No they may not, as only patients are allowed in the endoscopy suite. Your escort will have to remain in the waiting area. If you need assistance with regards to dressing/undressing or for translation, please inform the nurse.

8. Will I see the doctor before and after my procedure?

Yes, the doctor will describe the procedure to you prior to beginning. If you have many questions or concerns we recommend you book a consultation appointment first. In addition, the doctor will give you a report on how the procedure went before you leave. You will also be given a written report.

9. Does the doctor see children?

A consultation appointment for children as young as 8 years of age can be booked with us. However, procedures for patients from 8 to 18 years of age will be performed at Mackenzie Health Hospital.

10. What is the difference between doing a procedure at the hospital versus the clinic?

The wait time for a procedure at the hospital is typically much longer. In addition, the hospital does not provide an anaesthetist to administer sedation, so the endoscopists will be administering a lighter sedative.

11. Why do I need a consultation before my procedure?

Given your specific circumstances (age, medical conditions, time of last scope), a consultation is required before your appointment. If you would like to book a procedure directly (without a consultation), prior authorization from the specialist would be needed.