Gastroscopy – Common Questions

I will be having a gastroscopy.  What should I know?

  • Please see Dr. Sam’s preparation sheet (English and Chinese versions available).  If you have further questions about the procedure, please contact Dr. Sam’s office (416-222-0660).
  • Please make note of the location of the endoscopy clinic when you are contacted by our office with the appointment.  
  • Dr. Sam performs these procedures at:
    • Dynamic Medical Centre (5734 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor) at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. East (across from Finch subway station).  Parking is free.
    • At Dynamic Medical Centre, there is parking at the back of the building (enter from Yonge St.).  Inform the parking attendant that you are seeing Dr. Sam at Dynamic Medical Centre and the parking will be free.
    • North Toronto Endoscopy Clinic (7155 Woodbine Ave, Unit 125 at Woodbine Ave. and Steeles Ave.)
  • This procedure is fully funded by OHIP.  Please remember to bring your OHIP card to the appointment.
  • Please note that there is a cancellation fee of $50 if you do not show up for the appointment or if you cancel less than 3 business days before the test.


What is a gastroscopy?

  • A gastroscopy is a procedure where a long tube with a camera on the end is used to assess the lining of the upper digestive tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and the duodenum

How should I prepare for a gastroscopy?

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight.  However, you can have sips of clear fluids until 4 hours prior to the procedure.
  • You can take your prescribed medications (as outlined by your doctor) with a small sip of water up until 2 hours prior to the procedure.
  • Arrange for a friend or family member to take you home after the procedure.  We cannot provide sedation unless you have someone to accompany you home.  You cannot drive or operate any heavy machinery for the rest of the day after receiving sedation.
  • You may be asked to adjust the dose of your medications (e.g. insulin/other diabetic medications) – if you have questions, please contact Dr. Sam’s office (416-222-0660).
  • If you are taking blood thinning medications, please check with your prescribing physician if and when these medications can be stopped for the endoscopic procedure.


  • When you arrive for the procedure, you will check-in at the front desk of the endoscopy clinic.
  • You will fill out a questionnaire about your past medical history, previous surgical history and medications and allergies ***PLEASE BRING YOUR LIST OF MEDICATIONS
  • You will meet our nurse.  You will be asked to change into a gown.  Please do not bring any valuable belongings.  Your belongings will be placed under your stretcher.
  • An intravenous (IV) needle will be inserted into your arm or hand.  This will be used to provide medication during the procedure.

What happens during a gastroscopy?

  • The procedure typically takes about 10-20 minutes to complete.
  • Our anesthetist will provide you with medication through the IV so that you will sleep during the procedure.
  • A plastic mouth guard will be used to protect your teeth.
  • You will get oxygen through the nasal prongs during the procedure.  You will get attached to a monitor to assess your heart rate and rhythm, oxygen status and blood pressure throughout the procedure.
  • A flexible tube with a camera on the end with be inserted into your mouth and passed down your esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
  • The doctor may take biopsies (small samples of tissue from the lining of the digestive tract) to send for histologic analysis to help make a diagnosis (e.g. biopsies of the stomach for H. pylori).

What happens after a gastroscopy?

  • After your test, you will be observed in the recovery area by our nurse until the sedative medication wears off.
  • Once you have met the discharge criteria, you will be able to go home.  Prior to leaving, Dr. Sam will speak to you and give you a sheet of paper with pertinent details about the findings.  If biopsies have been taken, it will take several weeks for the results to return.  Your family doctor (or the referring doctor) will also receive a copy of the report and any biopsy results.
  • Do not return to work on the day of the procedure.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or operate machinery until the day after your procedure.