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What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Gastroscopy Recovery

Gastroscopy is a common medical procedure used to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. While gastroscopy is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, the recovery process can vary from person to person. Here’s what your doctor may not tell you about gastroscopy recovery, including tips for a smooth recovery and what to expect after the procedure.

Understanding Gastroscopy Recovery

Gastroscopy is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day after the procedure. While the actual gastroscopy procedure itself is relatively quick, lasting about 15 to 30 minutes, the recovery period afterward may require some time and patience. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s post-procedure instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery and minimize the risk of complications.

Immediate Post-Procedure Care

After your gastroscopy procedure, you may experience some temporary side effects as the sedative medication wears off and your body adjusts. Some common immediate post-procedure care tips include:

  • Rest and Recovery: Plan to rest for the remainder of the day after your gastroscopy procedure. Avoid strenuous activities, driving, or operating heavy machinery until the effects of the sedative wear off completely.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of clear fluids, such as water or herbal tea, to stay hydrated and help flush any remaining sedative medication from your system. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks, as they can irritate the stomach lining.
  • Monitor for Complications: While rare, complications from gastroscopy can occur, such as bleeding, perforation of the digestive tract, or adverse reactions to sedative medications. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience severe abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, persistent vomiting, or signs of infection such as fever or chills.

Common Side Effects of Gastroscopy

During the recovery period after gastroscopy, you may experience some common side effects that are typically mild and temporary. These side effects may include:

  • Sore Throat: It’s common to experience a mild sore throat or throat irritation after gastroscopy, especially if a throat spray was used to numb the throat before the procedure. Sucking on ice chips or lozenges and drinking warm liquids can help soothe a sore throat.
  • Bloating and Gas: Some individuals may experience bloating, gas, or abdominal discomfort after gastroscopy, particularly if air was used to inflate the stomach for better visualization during the procedure. Walking or gently massaging the abdomen can help relieve gas and bloating.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are uncommon but may occur as side effects of the sedative medication used during gastroscopy. If you experience nausea or vomiting after the procedure, try sipping clear fluids and avoiding solid foods until your stomach settles.

Tips for a Smooth Recovery

To promote a smooth recovery after gastroscopy, consider the following tips:

  • Follow Dietary Guidelines: Your healthcare provider may provide dietary guidelines to follow after gastroscopy, such as avoiding spicy or acidic foods, alcohol, and heavy meals for the first 24 hours. Stick to bland, easily digestible foods such as plain rice, yogurt, or broth until your stomach feels back to normal.
  • Take Medications as Directed: If your healthcare provider prescribes medications to manage post-procedure symptoms such as pain or nausea, take them as directed. Avoid taking non-prescription pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen without consulting your doctor, as they may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Rest and Relaxation: Give yourself time to rest and recover after gastroscopy. Avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting for at least 24 hours after the procedure to prevent strain or injury.


Gastroscopy recovery may involve some temporary side effects and discomfort, but with proper care and attention, most individuals can expect to feel back to normal within a day or two. By following your doctor’s post-procedure instructions, staying hydrated, and taking it easy for the remainder of the day, you can help ensure a smooth recovery and minimize the risk of complications. If you have any concerns or experience persistent symptoms after gastroscopy, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider for further guidance and support.