A gastroscopy (or endoscopy) is a procedure that examines the oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small bowel (duodenum). The procedure involves a camera being inserted through the mouth and down the oesophagus (gullet). The procedure normally takes around 10 minutes and is done under sedation. No bowel prep is required however you will need to fast for 6 hours prior to the procedure.


A colonoscopy is a camera examination of the colon that is usually performed to look for lesions in the bowel such as polyps or bowel cancer. It can also be used to assess for inflammation in the bowel or look for causes of rectal bleeding. A colonoscopy requires bowel preparation prior to the procedure and clear fluids orally the day prior to the procedure. The colonoscopy is performed under sedation and normally takes around 20-30 minutes.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

An ERCP is similar to a gastroscopy however uses a slightly different scope with the camera on the side rather than on the end of the scope. This allows for a better view of the ampulla which is where the bile duct and pancreatic duct drain into the small bowel. An ERCP is normally performed in order to remove stones from the bile duct or unblock the bile duct by the placement of a stent. No bowel preparation is required however you do need to fast for six hours prior to the procedure.