Gastroscopy is a commonly performed procedure where a slim flexible tube is inserted into the mouth to examine the stomach and 1st part of the small intestine (duodenum). The purpose is to look for abnormal areas (eg. polyps, tumours, ulcers and gastritis), where biopsies can be done and treatment started.
A biopsy is also routinely performed to test for Helicobacter Pylori infection. This is a common bacterial infection, said to be present in 1 out of 3 people. It can cause the stomach to produce too much acid, leading to gastritis, ulcer formation and possibly cancer. Once diagnosed, it is easily treated with a short course of antibiotics.