Dr Ian Berkowitz



A gastroscopy is a procedure where a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is used to look inside the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum). It's also sometimes referred to as an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. The endoscope has a light and a camera at one end.

This video explains how an Upper Endoscopy.

Prior to your procedure

Please confirm your booking five days prior to your procedure. Phone: 011 640 7355/011 647 3445  (Monday to Friday between 8.00am to 4.30 pm)

Discuss with your doctor which medications you will need to stop prior to your procedure. Blood thinnners such as Warfarin & Xaralta should be stopped three days before your procedure. Clopridogril should be stopped a week before.  It is important you mention all medications you take in case special precautions are required.

Arrange for someone to take you home from hospital. Please bring their contact details to hospital with you (we do not have waiting areas for friends and relatives in the unit). If you are catching a taxi please arrange someone to accompany you.

 What preparation is required?

Your stomach must be completely empty.

You should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for approximately six hours prior to your admission time.

If you need to take any tablets, these can be taken with a small drink of water.

 On the day of your procedure please bring your:

Medical aid card

completed registration form

medications that you may need to take after your procedure (e.g. aspirin, iron, diabetic medications, anti-inflammatory medications).

Please do not bring any valuables or wear any jewellery when you come to hospital.

On arrival to Milpark Hospital, present to the main reception on the ground floor.

On your admission

Your nurse will explain the procedure fully to you and will answer any of your questions and concerns. Your procedure itself will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

What to expect during your gastroscopy

To prevent discomfort during the gastroscopy you will receive intravenous sedation that will cause you to become slightly drowsy. You may have no memory of the procedure. You will still be able to respond to directions and you will be able to breathe normally.

After your procedure

You will be transferred from the procedure room on a trolley to recovery where your observations will be monitored. When the sedative effect has worn off and you are feeling more awake you will be given a light meal prior to going home.

It is not usual for your doctor to visit and discuss things with you after your procedure because you will still feel drowsy.

Your results will be discussed with you at your follow-up appointment.

An appointment will be made prior to discharge and you will be given both a written and verbal explanation of possible complications by the nursing staff. 

Because a sedative is used for this procedure

you must arrange for someone to take you home. They will need to collect you from the Day Procedure Unit, or the ward.

you are required to stay in hospital for a minimum of two hours following the procedure.

you are required, by law, not to drive a vehicle (including bikes, motor bikes), operate machinery or sign legal contracts for a minimum of 24 hours.

What to expect after your gastroscopy

You may resume your normal daily routine including working the day after your procedure, unless you are instructed otherwise.

Resume normal eating habits unless instructed otherwise.

For at least 24 hours after your procedure you should not:

 drive a car, motorcycle or ride a bicycle

drink any alcohol

make any decisions or sign important papers

walk home

use hazardous machinery including the stove

engage in sports or heavy lifting for 48 hours

travel alone by public transport (bus, train or plane).

Phone for appointment

Mon - Friday: 

08:30 - 16:30 

Tel: +27(0)11 482 8556/7