Nervous & curious about endoscopy/gastroscopy

I'm really nervous about the whole procedure. I'm 20 and having my mum come with me as I think I'm going to have the sedation. Is there always an option to have this? I only knew about the sedation because I researched the procedure - there is nothing written on my hospital letters. I'm a bit worried as my mum is driving from Portsmouth to London to come with me and don't want to waste her time if I'm not going to even be given the option of sedation.

However, if the option is there, what does it feel like to have the sedation? Is it worth having? I'm a fairly anxious person and work myself up over silly things.

For those who have had the procedure before, is there anything you wish you'd known before you had your endoscopy?

Sorry for all my questions, I'm just very curious and very anxious!

26 Replies

  • I think I'm going to go for sedation, I'd do the throat spray but like I said, I get worked up over little things so I think I'd just panic myself.

    Thank you! :)

  • Hello, my advice would be to have the absolute maximum sedation possible. I've had the procedures with and without sedation and really can't emphasis enough to have the sedation!!!! Explain that you are very anxious about the procedures when you get there and that you want the maximum sedation possible. Try to be calm and remember you need to do this to find out what is going on. Good luck.

  • Thank you! This is what I'm hoping I can do, fingers crossed I will be given as much as I can!

    Can you remember how it feels to be sedated? Do you just get really sleepy?

    Thank you for your advice :)

  • Yes I would advise you to go for the sedation and please don't worry about the amount of questions you have, that's what we are all here for.

    Kind Regards


  • Okay perfect! I think I should as I have my mum to pick me up, I just wasn't entirely sure if it was always an option!

    Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it :)

  • They would put a needle with a plastic tap on the end, called a canula, into your arm. It is about the same as having an injection.

    Having sedation is normal, providing you have somebody with you for the journey home.

    You could always ring the number on the hospital letter to clarify that it will be OK.

    The first time I had an endoscopy (at St Thomas') I said that I had not wanted the sedation as there was a particular reason I wanted to discuss something with the surgeon. But having done that, the surgeon immediately recommended sedation and I had no regrets at all.

  • That's absolutely fine! I have other medical complications which means I have had a lot of operations and blood tests, so needles don't phase me much.

    Luckily I have my mum who's given up her time to come with me, so hopefully I will have the option of sedation!

    I did look at the letter but the only number on there sends me to an automated answer, which is only used to book/cancel appointments. I have the hospital's phone number but can't be bothered with the hassle of being redirected by different departments, (I've had this issue in the past).

    Glad it all went okay with yours, I hope mine will go as easily as yours did!

    Thank you for the help :)

  • Hi I can assure you there is no need to be anxious about the endoscopy I had an endoscopy done several years ago which fortunately revealed nothing to be concerned about It is NOT a painful procedure with just a minor discomfort (wants to make you gag) as the camera passes down the back of the throat but nothing to be alarmed about as this is a natural reflex reaction

    Don't worry Alastair

  • Thank you! Glad yours went okay, and you had nothing discovered!

    Fingers crossed everything will be okay and it will go smoothly :)

  • I should call them about this to make sure you do have an option. They won't sedate you if you haven't fasted beforehand! I was told to fast, just in case, and then given the option at the time of my appointment. I opted not to be sedated.

    However, I had a follow-up gastroscopy I opted to be sedated. If I were you, I would opt for sedation it just makes you feel a little dreamy and takes away your anxiety. Much easier and wish I had done this at the first go.


  • Thanks for your reply Sorry I forgot to mention I wasn't sedated

    Good luck Alastair

  • my doctor recommended I have both the spray and sedation. I am having an endoscopy next week and am extremely nervous about it but the way I look at it if they can get to the root of the problem then it will be worth the discomfort.

    Good luck.

  • Exactly! I'm trying to focus on the fact that in the long run this will sort out a lot of long-term problems I've been having! My doctor didn't tell me anything which is why I'm suddenly panicking after researching the procedure!

    Thank you for your help! Good luck with yours too :)

  • Hi whatever

    There really is nothing to worry about. I've had over 20 gastroscopies now and nothing has gone wrong on any. It is considered a 'minor' procedure to investigate your digestive system/oesophagus/stomach and is used by consultants to view your insides and possibly take a biopsy. They may 'officially' tell you there is a 0.1% chance of a complication.

    Go for the throatspray which tastes like banana medicine and numbs the back of the throat to stop you gagging and the sedation (usually 5mg midzolam) which will probably knock you out (introduced via a canula to the hand or arm) - which is why it will be useful to have your mum with you when you wake up.

    The worst thing is the gagging, which is why it is best to also take the sedation. Warn the nurse if you have a strong gag reflex. Take it easy when waking up and enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit. Good luck.

  • Oh wow, that's a lot! You're a pro at this now!

    I've had a lot of major things done before so I don't know why I'm so nervous - I think it's because it's all new to me.

    Thank you for all your useful advice, I think I would prefer to be knocked out or at least oblivious to what is going on. Thank god my mum is available to come with me!

    The gagging is what I'm most concerned about, hopefully it won't be too much of an issue. I think I'm going to tell the nurses that I have a strong gag reflex anyway (I think it's fairly average but I'd rather be sure that they won't expect too much of me!)

    Thanks again! :)

  • I didn't have sedation & I started to panic slightly at the end but they talked me through it & it went fine. I think if there was a next time then I would have it.

  • Oh no! A lot of people have said that the nurses are usually great, I think I will have the sedation if I'm given the option so I know I'll be less worried! Thanks for the advice :)

  • it's good the more people you have involved the easier it is to participate.

    I miss my mother's guidance. One idea is to "try and be proactive for everything

    you do" it seems standard to be sedated. And then the proceedure is easy.

    There's a countdown. you might hear the technician say Goodnite, you

    fall asleep and wake up later on. my GERD turned into Cancer. Today i began

    a Chemotherapy. Once again it was easy. At least to begin i didn't feel anything

    being sedated with Taxol and Carboplatin which slows or stops the growth of

    Cancer cells in the body. The other concern is being Anemic with low Hemoglobin

    levels. You want this evaluation to be as high as possible. i don't think it makes

    a difference how old you are, it can effect all ages. The Cancer can be evaluated

    with a DNA Profile to be heridity gene issue. But Cancer is also excessive cell

    growth effected by stomach acids. And if you're peuking for whatever reason

    mine was an obtuse radiation enviornment may occur and this is most common.

    To be in the Navy or a sports star, to be fighter maybe some of the reasons?


  • Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that, I wish you all the best with your chemo!

    Thank you very much for your advice too :)

  • I've had x4 endoscopy in my life for treatment and monitoring of GORD

    Sedation every time...they put the needle in your arm, give you the medication then wake up and it'll done :)

    If your an anxious person like I am sedation is the way to go. It wears off very quickly and you might feel a bit tired the rest of the day and that's it.

    Good luck with everything and getting everything sorted. IT is nerve wracking the first time you get it done!

  • I feel like sedation is my only option at the moment, I'm too much of a wimp to have the throat spray by itself!

    Thank you very much for your advice and support, I appreciate it :) One step closer to getting the answers I need!

  • Just had an endoscopy yesterday. I didn't opt for the sedation although I am a complete wimp, but didn't want to be stuck at the hospital for hours to recover from the sedation. Before the procedure I was given full information from the hospital about what to expect. I can't say it was the most pleasurable of experiences but very do-able. I had the throat spray. The worst bit was when the tube is first introduced into your throat - you naturally want to gag. I did this a couple of times, but got over it. The staff were very kind, supported me fully throughout, told me to close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing and held my hand! The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes. They took several biopsies and I couldn't feel a thing. I've got to have one every two years and would not choose sedation over the throat spray.

    Please don't worry - and I wish you luck.

  • That's fair enough! I have arthritis and have done for the past ten years, when I was younger it was really severe so I'm a pro at waiting in hospitals - it doesn't seem to phase me at all!

    To be honest I think I could manage with the throat spray but because it's my first one and I'm really nervous I think it's best for me to have sedation - plus I have my mum to take me home so I don't have to worry about that!

    Thank you for your advice and luck, I appreciate it :)

  • Have you had the endoscopy ?if not I opted for sedation but the consultant used the spray as well.hope it all goes well(went well if you've already had it).I didnt feel a thing.

  • Not yet! I have it at 9:40 on Thursday morning! I think I'm going to opt for both! Maybe one day I'll stop being such a wuss, but today is not that day haha!

    Thank you for your advice and luck, I will update if you'd like :)

  • Please're not a wuss at all.its not pleasant experience for anyone.

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