Posted by: Curious | 2012-08-21

Helicobacter Pylori

Hi Doc

Can you advise? My doctor suspects I could have the above mentioned bacteria in my stomach. She wants to send me for a gastroscopy. We also suspect there could be an ulcer. Is there any other way to check for the bacteria and the ulcer other than invasive surgery? Can they do a blood test for either?
What does a gastroscopy cover and do you know if Discovery Health (hospital plan only) will cover the procedure and what it costs?

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Our expert says:
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Unfortunately, there is no blood tests to detect gastric ulcers. A gastroscopy is not invasive surgery but a procedure where a fibre optic pipe is passed through the mouth into the stomach to visualise the stomach lining. The procedure is uncomfortable but usually done under mild sedation. You will contact Discovery Health and ask them if they will cover the procedure. The cost will depend on the specialist but normally range from R700 to R1200.


Dr Anrich

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sue | 2012-08-21

A gastroscopy is not really surgery, as they don''t cut anywhere, it is just a diagnostic procedure - its also not a traumatic procedure as they give you general anaesthetic and it does not take long for them to do the procedure. You can have it done in rooms by a specialist (there is a doc in Kempton Park that does this) or you can have it done in hospital. It will be covered by Discovery if you have the procedure done in rooms and not in hospital. The reason for this is that it is a diagnostic procedure and not a " curative procedure" .
If you phone Discovery they will explain all of this in detail.
When done in rooms, you still get an anaesthetist and go under general anaesthetic, and it is really a breeze. You are only under for about 10 minutes or so, then your family member/friend can drive you home.
Hope this helps.

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