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Upper GI endoscopy and dilatation

You may require an upper GI endoscopy because you are suffering from difficulty swallowing, anaemia or stomach pain.

What is an upper GI endoscopy and dilatation?

A gastroscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum using a thin flexible tube with a light and camera at the end of it. If you require a dilatation of your oesophaus, this means you have some sort of narrowing of your oesophagus which can be gently stretched.

Why do patients require this procedure?

Patients may require an upper GI endoscopy because they are suffering from one of the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Gastric reflux
  • Anaemia
  • Stomach pain 

What can an upper GI endoscopy help diagnose?

The following conditions may be diagnosed through this procedure:

  • Ulcers
  • Precancerous conditions
  • Inflammation
  • Polyps
  • Bowel obstructions 

Are there any alternatives to an upper GI endoscopy and dilatation?

Depending on the reasons for the narrowing of your oesophagus will determine the most appropriate procedure for you. This will be discussed with you by your Consultant.

What does the procedure involve?

If appropriate, the endoscopist may offer you a sedative to help you relax, but this will be discussed with you along with any risks.

The procedure will take approximately 15 minutes and involves passing the tube over the back of your tongue into the oesophagus. A wire will be passed through the tube which has a balloon on the end of it. This balloon is slowly inflated by the endoscopist using water to gently stretch the area which is narrowed. The procedure should not be painful but may be a bit uncomfortable.

What complications can happen?

Although rare, complications can happen. Your endoscopist will explain these to you. Complications can include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
  • Making a hole in the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum
  • Damage to teeth or bridgework
  • Bleeding
  • Incomplete procedure

How soon will I recover?

You may have a bit of a sore throat and feel a bit bloated for a few hours but this will pass. You may also experience slight discomfort in your chest area due to the nature of the procedure.

A member of the team will tell you what was found during the endoscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

If you have not had sedation you should be able to go back to work the day after the endoscopy.

It is important to remember that if you have had sedation then this is in your system for at least 24 hours, so you will be advised to not doing anything for this time and someone must be with you.


An upper GI endoscopy and dilatation is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if you have a problem with the upper part of your digestive system and treating your symptoms.

Paying for your procedure

Upper GI endoscopy and dilation costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the procedure will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the procedure. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Specialists offering Upper GI endoscopy and dilatation

Dr Michael Glynn

Consultant Physician & Gastroenterologist


BMI The London Independent Hospital

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Dr Dafydd Bowen

Consultant Gastroenterologist

MB BCh MRCP(London) P. Grad. Diploma Nutrition(Surrey)

BMI Werndale Hospital

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Dr Akeel Alisa

Consultant Gastroenterologist, Hepatologist & General Physician


BMI The Cavell Hospital 3 more BMI The Kings Oak Hospital BMI Hendon Hospital BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Dr Mahesh Bhalme

Consultant Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist


BMI The Beaumont Hospital

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Dr Colin Ainley

Consultant Gastroenterologist


BMI The London Independent Hospital

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Dr Joe Collum

Consultant Physician & Gastroenterologist


BMI The Beardwood Hospital

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