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Our private Oesophagoscopy services are provided at the Hadley Wood Hospital, High Barnet.

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An oesophagoscopy is a procedure to examine the oesophagus โ€“ also known as the gullet or food pipe. Itโ€™s usually carried out to investigate symptoms such as difficultly or pain when swallowing.

The procedure

The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, meaning youโ€™ll be asleep while it happens. A long, thin metal tube with a light and camera at the end, called an oesophagoscope, will be gently passed through your mouth and into the oesophagus. Images from the camera will relay to a screen.

As well as enabling the consultant to closely examine the lining of the oesophagus, a tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken at the same time for closer analysis in the lab. The procedure may help your consultant make a diagnosis as to whatโ€™s causing your symptoms, or may help rule out serious problems such as cancer.

Completing an oesophagoscopy usually takes up to 20 minutes. After youโ€™ve come around from the anaesthetic, youโ€™ll be monitored for a short period but most people are able to leave after a few hours. However, you wonโ€™t be able to drive for at least 24 hours and will need somebody to accompany you home. Itโ€™s normal for your throat to feel sore โ€“ this should improve after a few days and painkillers will help.

Your consultant will talk to you about any findings or observations made during the procedure before you go home and, if required, follow-up appointments will be arranged. If a biopsy was taken, it can take a few days to get the results.

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