Endoscopy procedures

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Endoscopy costs and locations

What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a test that uses a long thin flexible tube containing a camera, called an endoscope, to look inside the body. An endoscopy can be used to investigate or monitor conditions affecting the oesophagus/gullet (food pipe), stomach, upper small bowel and separately the colon and rectum. Endoscopy procedures are performed by accredited endoscopists who may be Consultants in Gastroenterology or General Surgery, or by nurse endoscopists who have undergone extensive additional training. All endoscopists meet the criteria for independent practice set by our UK national endoscopy body, Joint Advisory Group on GI endoscopy (JAG) and are regularly assessed on the quality of their procedures.

At Practice Plus Group, we offer three types of endoscopy procedure. These can be accessed as a private patient (through self-pay or your private health insurance company) or via the NHS with a referral from your GP or specialist. The three types of endoscopy are:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Gastroscopy (OGD) or upper GI endoscopy.

In each case, the endoscopist will explain what they have found at the end of the procedure.

About two to three weeks after your procedure, your GP will also receive the results of any biopsies or polyps taken during the procedure.

Why would you need an endoscopy test?

The type of endoscopy you need depends on the part of the body being looked at.

Types of endoscopy procedures

Learn about the different endoscopy types available through Practice Plus Group…

Private colonoscopy

A colonoscopy looks at the whole colon and rectum to investigate bleeding, change in bowel function and abdominal pain. It may be requested if you have a strong family history of bowel cancer (known as screening) or if you have had previous polyps (also known as surveillance).

An endoscope will be carefully passed through the anus into the rectum and large bowel. In order to allow a clear view of the bowels you will be given instructions for strong laxatives and a diet sheet to follow in the days leading up to the examination to make sure your bowel is completely empty. Pictures and samples (known as biopsies) may be taken during the test and if we find small fleshy tissue growths, known as polyps, these are likely to be removed if safe to do so.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure to look at the lower part of the colon (large intestine/ large bowel) and rectum. This is the best test to investigate bright red bleeding from your bottom or if you’re experiencing left-sided abdominal pain. For this test, you will need to administer an enema into your bottom. This is a fluid preparation to flush out your lower colon/ rectum. For the investigation, an endoscope will be passed into your bottom aiming to look at the lower third of your colon.

Private gastroscopy

A gastroscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (part of the small intestine). It is carried out to investigate symptoms of indigestion or reflux, abdominal pain, swallowing problems, weight loss or certain abnormal blood tests. You will need to refrain from eating up to six hours prior to the procedure and drinking for two hours prior to the procedure to ensure excellent images to aid diagnosis. Samples (known as biopsies) may also be taken through the endoscope during the test.

Endoscopy risks and complications

Endoscopy is generally considered to be safe with low risk of complications. However the following risks are associated with endoscopy procedures:

  • Discomfort, bloating and wind: These are common and pass quickly once the test has finished.
  • Perforation: occasionally the tip of the endoscope can tear the wall of the gut. The risk is low with a diagnostic test (less than one per thousand procedures), but a little higher if polyps are removed.
  • Bleeding: the risk of bleeding increases if tissue samples are taken or polyps are removed
  • Infection: this includes a small increased risk of chest infection after gastroscopy. Reaction to drugs given: occasionally patients may have an adverse reaction to the drugs given during the endoscopy procedure.

These risks will be discussed with you prior to the investigation itself.

Recovering from an endoscopy

Planning ahead is key. If you choose to have conscious sedation, you won’t be able to drive for 24 hours afterwards and must have an adult to be present with you at home for that full 24 hour period. You should also avoid operating machinery or making important personal or financial decisions for the 24 hours following the procedure.

How do I arrange a private or self-pay endoscopy at Practice Plus Group?

If you would like to have your procedure at a Practice Plus Group site. You will need a referral from either your GP or a specialist. Once you’ve got a referral, get in touch with our self-pay team who will be able to put you in contact with your nearest endoscopy unit.

Benefits of a private endoscopy

There are quite a few benefits to choosing to have your endoscopy privately. The first and likely most appealing is the significantly reduced waiting times. With NHS waiting lists still struggling to cope with the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the diagnostic imaging waiting list in England and Wales in 2022 grew to 435,000. It therefore stands to reason that patients needing the procedure begin to seek out faster endoscopy services.

For more information about waiting times at Practice Plus Group, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0330 162 3764 or enquire online.

How much is a private endoscopy?

If you need the procedure, you’re probably wondering how much a private endoscopy operation costs. The price can rise beyond £2,000 depending on a number of factors. First, the type of endoscopy will inform the cost, as well as whether the procedure is going to take tissue samples. At Practice Plus Group, endoscopy procedures start from £1,299 and are available via self-pay, health insurance or the NHS.

Endoscopy payment options

At Practice Plus Group, you can pay for your endoscopy procedure yourself or via health insurance. If you’re paying for yourself, you can pay via credit or debit card, or through Chrysalis, our finance partner. Finance is available over 12 months at 0%. Longer-term options are available from 36-60 months at 14.9% APR.

Self-pay endoscopy

If you’re paying for yourself, payment needs to be made seven days before your endoscopy procedure. You can pay via credit or debit card, or through Chrysalis, our finance partner. Finance is available over 12 months at 0%. Longer-term options are available from 36-60 months at 14.9% APR.

Ways to pay

There are 3 ways to access endoscopy at Practice Plus Group:

  1. Self-pay private healthcare
  2. Private health insurance
  3. NHS referral

Why choose Practice Plus Group?

At Practice Plus Group Hospitals we’re passionate about giving patients a positive experience and excellent clinical outcomes, with personalised care every step of the way. Whether you’re paying for yourself or using private medical insurance, with our short waiting times, unrivalled Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings and high levels of cleanliness and infection control, we’ll make sure you’re looked after. In fact, we were the first provider to have all services rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.

The first step is booking an appointment or contact us on 0330 162 3764.

Ways to pay

Want to find out more? Call us today

Our friendly Wellsoon Private Patient Advisors are ready to take your call. 

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Private endoscopy FAQs

Not quite found what you’re looking for? Our dedicated FAQs might be able to help! Take a look below for more information about private endoscopy.

Endoscopy can be used to detect the following diseases and conditions:

  • Ulcers of the stomach or duodenum
  • Inflammation of the stomach (gastritis)
  • Inflammation of the colon or rectum (colitis)
  • Barrett’s oesophagus which may be precancerous and require surveillance
  • Coeliac disease
  • Polyps and cancers in the colon
  • Narrowing of the oesophagus (stricture)

While an endoscopy isn’t painful, you may experience some discomfort. You may choose to be sedated during the procedure which should make you more relaxed and comfortable.

Endoscopies usually take between 15 minutes and half an hour depending on the type of procedure.

The good news is it shouldn’t take long at all. If you have had sedation you may be a little groggy in the hours after the procedure and must avoid driving and making life-changing decisions. However, after 24 hours the sedation will have completely worn off and you should feel back to normal.


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Portsmouth – Caring staff

I very much appreciate the passion and attentiveness of you and your caring staff at [Practice Plus Group Surgical Centre, St Mary’s Portsmouth].

by Florence

Endoscopy, Portsmouth – staff were fantastic

The endoscopy staff at [Practice Plus Group Surgical Centre, St Mary’s Portsmouth] were fantastic and put me at ease straight away. Dr Patel was so nice and what I thought was going to be a horrible experience, wasn’t. Looked after all way through.

by Jane Morgan, Google

Gastroscopy, Shepton Mallet – 10/10 to all staff

Came in for Gastroscopy (stomach observation via camera) at the Practice Plus Group Hospital, Shepton Mallet. From the helpful smiling face at reception to being assessed by staff, and discussion in theatre, all were helpful to put my mind at rest. The dedicated staff kept me calm which really helped me. A speedy report followed 10 minutes later, while waiting in a comfy chair. It did not feel clinical at all it had that personal touch, so 10/10 to all staff.
by Mr James Champion

Colonoscopy, Gillingham – superb care

Attended for a colonoscopy, superb care from Siobhan the receptionist through to Kemi, the lady who carried out the procedure and everbody inbetween, such care and dedication rarely seen these days. Thanks to all, you made a daunting afternoon much, much better!!!

by Dianne Keys, Google

Endoscopy – could not fault the care, thank you

Had a cystoscope done this morning I could not fault the care and the support from Christopher and the nursing team thank you from an anxious patient.

by Gemma Hopkins, Google


I can not speak more highly of the staff here. Everybody I dealt with and saw with others were incredible, be it the surgeon or bed chaperones.

by Chris Turner, Google

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