This website has been created by a recent gastroscopy patient to inform and reassure other patients about to have the procedure. It also contains information about hiatus hernia (or hiatal hernia) which proved to be the diagnosis in this patient's case.
A gastroscopy is an examination of the upper digestive tract using an endoscope. It is operated by a doctor and enters the body through the mouth. A gastroscopy is performed to investigate a number of symptoms in the upper digestive tract, such as stomach or chest pain, heartburn, nausea and vomiting.
A hiatus hernia (or hiatal hernia) is where part of the stomach pushes up into the lower chest through a defect in the diaphragm. A valve that normally stops stomach acid rising into the oesophagus (food pipe) does not work properly in patients with hiatus hernia, and they experience pain as the acid escapes upwards from the stomach.
There are a number of treatments, most of which improve or relieve the symptoms of acid reflux caused by the hiatus hernia. Treatments include: change in diet, losing weight, anti-acid drugs, and other lifestyle changes that can improve the condition. Hiatus hernias causing severe symptoms may require surgery.