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Home > Services & Treatments > Endoscopy


Endoscopy Procedures and Investigations

An endoscopy is a procedure which involves inserting an endoscope (a thin, long, flexible tube with camera) into the body through the mouth or rectum to allow visual examination of the gastrointestinal tract.

The Endoscopy Clinic at Kingsbridge Private Hospital has a team of locally based Consultant Gastroenterologists and Surgeons who can deliver scope examinations, diagnosis and treatment of conditions in the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, large and small intestines (bowel) and biliary (gallbladder) system. 

Rapid Access to Scope Procedures

A scope procedure at our Belfast private hospital can be arranged within 48 hours. So, there is no need to spend weeks on a waiting list, avoiding the need to wait and worry for an investigation.

All patients, whether insured or self-funded, can gain rapid and convenient access to some of the latest generation endoscopy diagnostic imaging and treatments.

Referrals to our Endoscopy Clinic can be arranged through your own GP or, alternatively, same-day referrals are available through the Kingsbridge Private GP Service.

For more information about having an Endoscopy examination please call to speak with our Endoscopy Clinic on 028 906 67878 or email 

Symptoms that may require an Endoscopy Investigation

Patients may be referred for an endoscopy to investigate the following symptoms:

•          Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

•          Persistent abdominal pain

•          Chest pain not caused by heart-related conditions

•          Persistent nausea and vomiting

•          Unexplained weight loss 

•          Vomiting blood 

•          Persistent diarrhoea

•          Blood in your stools


Types of Endoscopy Investigations

Oesophageal-Gastric-Duodenal (OGD) Endoscopy

Oesophago-Gastro-Duodenoscopy (OGD) is also commonly known as a Gastroscopy, or Endoscopy and can be used to diagnose and treat problems affecting your upper intestinal tract including the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and duodenum (the first section of the small intestine).

An OGD examination is where a flexible and small scope (Gastroscope) is used to investigate the Oesophagus (gullet), stomach and the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). It is used to visualise the gut and take samples (biopsies) for analysis where indicated.

There are many reasons for this investigation but they include:

Common conditions that can be detected by an endoscopy procedure include:

During the investigation, some tissue samples (biopsies) from the lining of your upper digestive tract may need to be taken for further testing. This is painless and will not cause discomfort.


ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography)

ERCP combines the use of endoscopy and X-rays. A special camera with a port for small flexible instruments is passed in a similar fashion to an OGD. It is used mainly to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the bile ducts and nearby structures e.g. some gallstones, strictures, leaks and certain cancers.


Colonoscopy Examination

A Colonoscopy or Sigmoidoscopy involves passing the endoscope through the anus into the intestine. This allows the doctor to look directly at the lining of the large intestine (the colon) and take a biopsy for later analysis if necessary. It is recommended for:

For more information about having an Endoscopy examination please call to speak with our Endoscopy Clinic on 028 906 67878 or email 

Preparing for an Endoscopy Procedure

Depending on what part of your body is being examined, you may be asked to avoid eating and drinking for at least 6 hours prior to the examination.

If you're having a colonoscopy to examine the large intestine or a sigmoidoscopy to examine the rectum and lower part of the bowel you may be given a laxative to help clear stools from your bowels.

The Endoscopy Examination

An endoscopy is a safe and painless procedure and the risk of complications is low.

Endoscopy through the mouth typically involves using local anaesthetic spray to the throat to numb the throat to make it easier to pass the tube. Some patients find that mild sedation can also be useful to help relax

Depending on what investigation is being carried out an endoscopy usually takes around 15-60 minutes. An endoscopy is usually done as a day procedure so you will likely not need to stay in hospital.

If the gullet (oesophagus), stomach or first part of the small intestine needs to be examined, it's known as a gastroscopy. Where the bowel needs to be examined, it's known as a colonoscopy.

For more information about having an Endoscopy examination please call to speak with our Endoscopy Clinic on 028 906 67878 or email 


Typical Questions People Ask About Endoscopy

What is the procedure for an endoscopy?

Upper endoscopy is a procedure that enables the examiner (usually a gastroenterologist) to examine the oesophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and duodenum (first portion of small bowel) using a thin, flexible tube called the upper endoscope through which the lining of the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum can be viewed using a TV monitor.


What is a colonoscopy and endoscopy?

There are two basic types of endoscopy: Upper endoscopy (gastroscopy) – The oesophagus, stomach, and small intestines can be viewed by a thin flexible tube inserted through the mouth. Colonoscopy – The lining of the large intestine, colon and rectum can be viewed by a flexible tube inserted through the rectum.


What does an endoscopy test for?

Endoscopy can help identify inflammation, ulcers, and tumours. Upper endoscopy is more accurate than X-rays for detecting abnormal growths such as cancer and for examining the inside of the upper digestive system. Any abnormalities can also be treated through the endoscope.


Why would you get an endoscopy?

Endoscopy may be used to treat a digestive tract problem. An endoscope can not only diagnose an issue, but devices can be passed through the endoscope that can help treat the condition.


What symptoms would lead to an Upper GI endoscopy?

Upper GI endoscopy can help find the cause of unexplained symptoms, such as persistent heartburn, bleeding, nausea and vomiting, pain, problems swallowing, unexplained weight loss. Upper GI endoscopy can also find the cause of abnormal lab tests, such as anemia and nutritional deficiencies.


What conditions can be identified by an endoscopy examination?

Upper GI endoscopy can identify many different diseases including anemia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, cancer, inflammation or swelling, precancerous abnormalities, celiac disease


What is an upper GI endoscopy?

An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look at the inside lining of the oesophagus, the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A thin, flexible viewing tool called an endoscope (scope) is used.


What is the preparation for an endoscopy?

Typically, a fasting period is required before the endoscopy. You will need to stop drinking and eating four to eight hours before the examination to ensure your stomach is empty for the procedure.  Certain medications may also be required to be stopped before the endoscopy procedure.


Can you eat before a gastroscopy and endoscopy?

Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for your endoscopy. An upper endoscopy requires that you have an empty stomach before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the procedure, or as directed by your doctor or nurse.


What can you eat after a gastroscopy and endoscopy?

Your doctor will advise on the post-procedure diet. You can usually eat and drink right after the procedure is finished. Initially it is recommended to start with water and cool liquids. Then soft foods like soup and eggs can be added. Regular eating habits can be resumed as you feel better.


What happens when you have a camera down your throat?

An endoscopy 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. The camera sends images of the inside of your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum that can be viewed on a monitor by the investigations team.


Is an endoscopy painful?

An endoscopy is a painless procedure, with most people only experiencing some mild discomfort. The procedure is usually carried out while you're conscious. You may be given a local anaesthetic to numb a specific area of the body for ease of insertion of the scope


Are there any risks in an Endoscopy Examination?

An endoscopy is a very safe procedure. Rare complications include: Bleeding. Your risk of bleeding complications after an endoscopy is increased if the procedure involves removing a piece of tissue for testing (biopsy) or treating a digestive system problem.


How long does it take to get a gastroscopy?

An upper endoscopy takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes. A colonoscopy takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.


How long does it take to recover from an endoscopy?

Patients typically remain in the recovery area for 30 to 40 minutes after their procedure.


How much does a typical endoscopy procedure cost?

For patients who do not have health insurance which covers the cost of an endoscopy or colonoscopy examination and wish to self-fund the procedure, costs start from £903.


Is finance available for endoscopy examinations?

At 3fivetwo and Kingsbridge Private Hospital, we believe that you shouldn’t have to wait when it comes to your health. Our partnership with leading health finance provider Zebra Health Finance enables patients to access immediate healthcare whilst spreading the costs.

We are able to offer patients 0% Interest Free Payment Planover 12 months for all endoscopy procedures. So for example, an examination that would otherwise cost £1200, can be paid for in 12 monthly instalments of £100 per month.


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At the Kingsbridge Private Hospital Endoscopy Clinic your consultant will advise you on the best course of treatment as well as answer any questions or concerns you have about the examination.

If you would like to book an appointment or require further information on the options available to you, please do not hesitate to contact our private patient booking team on the details above.

For more information about having an Endoscopy examination please call to speak with our Endoscopy Clinic on 028 906 67878 or email