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What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy can be used to help treat a digestive tract problem or diagnose polyps, which can be removed to prevent the development of colon cancer. Endoscopy procedures are carried out across the UK, and across the world, thousands of times a day. They are established, safe diagnostic tests.

Why might I need an endoscopy?

The most common reason for having an endoscopy is if you develop a symptom called heartburn. This is where you get a burning, or acidic, sensation rising behind your breastbone. Sometimes that acidic taste can go to the back of your mouth, which is known as water brash, and you can also get food or liquid coming up at the same time. This is known as regurgitation.

Other reasons for having an endoscopy include:

  • If you’re having difficulty swallowing (also known as dysphagia)
  • Tummy pain that does not go away or keeps coming back
  • Diarrhoea and feeling - or being – sick regularly
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Regularly experiencing heartburn or indigestion
  • More frequent or looser stools or blood in your poo

If you have those symptoms, then an endoscopy will help diagnose whether you have a condition called Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease or GORD. This is usually associated with a hiatus hernia, where the valve at the top of the stomach - where it meets the gullet – stops working as it should. That becomes more common with increasing age, particularly if you’re overweight.

As part of the NHS’ National Bowel Cancer Screening program when you reach the age of 55, you’ll be invited to have a bowel scope, also known as a flexible sigmoidoscopy, to examine the rectum and the inside of the large intestine.

This is taken as a preventative measure as evidence has shown that if a polyp or small, benign growth is found and removed then there’s a reduced likelihood of developing cancer in the following five to ten years.

Other private endoscopy procedures we offer

Our Ambulatory Care Unit has the latest endoscope camera equipment and is run by a team of expert Consultants, supported by a Dietician, Nutritionist and Psychologist. We offer the following private endoscopy procedures to treat a range of conditions:

  • Cystoscopy: used to observe the inside of the bladder in order to diagnose problems such as urinary incontinence and to investigate symptoms such as blood in your urine
  • Wireless Capsule Endoscopy: involves swallowing a small capsule that has a camera and light in it, which sends pictures to a computer

We offer consultation, diagnosis and treatment for the following:

I have a question about my endoscopy procedure

What is an endoscope?

An endoscope is a long, thin and flexible tube that has a light and camera at the end for doctors to see the inside of your body on a television screen. Endoscopes are either inserted through the mouth and down the throat or through the bottom. Discover more about the endoscope camera.

As well as being used to detect active bleeding from an ulcer, devices can be passed through the endoscope to stop the bleeding.

How do I prepare for an endoscopy?

Once you've seen a Consultant, our Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) will arrange a date for your procedure. We'll give you a leaflet to read about your procedure and, if you’re having a colonoscopy, you can pick up the bowel preparation (laxative) to use the day before, to help you empty your bowels.

What happens during the endoscopy procedure?

The procedure usually takes place when you’re awake. You may be given a local anaesthetic to numb a specific part of your body or offered a sedative to help you relax and make you less aware of what’s going on. The sedative, which is administered via an injection into your vein, will relax you and may send you into a light sleep, this is known as conscious sedation.

When you arrive, we’ll check you into the ACU, take your blood pressure and answer any questions you have. The Consultant carrying out your endoscopy will run through the procedure, telling you what to expect as well as the risks and benefits.

How long does an endoscopy take?

The endoscope is inserted carefully into your body to allow your Consultant to carry out the procedure. This can take between 15 and 45 minutes. After the procedure you will be taken to our recovery area, which is monitored closely by one of the team.

Is it painful to do an endoscopy?

An endoscopy can be uncomfortable, so you should plan enough time to recover after your operation. You should make arrangements to get home in case you feel any discomfort afterwards or if the procedure requires you to have sedatives.

What happens after the endoscopy?

After the procedure, you can relax in the recovery room, have a cup of tea and something light to eat and your Consultant will run through your results.

What’s the difference between an endoscopy and a gastroscopy?

Endoscopy is a broad term used for a range of procedures using an endoscope. A gastroscopy is used to describe the examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

How much does a private endoscopy cost?

View our pricing page for details of our endoscopy costs.

Spread the cost of your private endoscopy

Take advantage of payment plans through our trusted partner, Chrysalis, and spread the cost of your treatment. Fit your repayments into your monthly budget rather than having to find the full cost at the time of your treatment.

How can I book a self-pay endoscopy procedure?

Did you know that you can have a private endoscopy procedure? It’s easy to make an appointment; just complete our online booking form or give our Private Patient Team a call on 01580 363158.

How do I get a GP referral for a private upper GI endoscopy?

Your GP can refer you to our hospital for a private diagnostic endoscopy by completing the referral form.

Holly Wilde talks about JAG re-accreditation for our hospital

Senior Endoscopy Nurse, Holly Wilde, talks about the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) re-accreditation for our endoscopy services; what it means for our patients and our hospital.

Meet the team

Dr Baburajan

Bijay Baburajan

Consultant Gastroenterologist

Dr Baburajan's specialties include Crohn's Disease, IBS, IBD and reflux and pancreatic and bowel cancers.

Dr Barnardo

Adrian Barnardo

Consultant Gastroenterologist

Dr Barnardo's specialties include endoscopy, hepatology and gastroenterology.

Dr Hanumantharaya

Doddaiah Hanumantharaya

Consultant Gastroenterologist

Dr Hanumantharaya's specialties are in management of gastroenterology diseases, liver and pancreas related diseases.

Dr Phil Mayhead

Phil Mayhead

Consultant Gastroenterologist

Dr Mayhead's specialities are Gastroscopy, Sigmoidoscopy, Hiatus hernia treatment and IBS treatment.

Dr Sharma

Hemant Sharma

Consultant Gastroenterologist

Dr Sharma's specialities include general gastroenterology, interventional endoscopy, ERCP and hepatobiliary medicine.

Holly Wilde, RN

Holly Wilde

Registered Nurse

Holly's specialties include assisting with endoscopy procedures, EVLT surgery, Mona Lisa Touch and Urolift.

Contact us about a private endoscopy procedure

It's easy to book online or by giving us a call.

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