When you’re experiencing persistent upper abdominal pain or unexplained weight loss, a gastroscopy might be necessary to diagnose your stomach problems.
A gastroscopy procedure is a common yet highly technical process that requires the doctor to insert a flexible tube called an endoscope into the patient’s upper digestive tract. This medical service is available at numerous surgical clinics and public hospitals.
However, the fees and cost of a gastroscopy in Singapore may vary depending on different factors. This article provides a detailed guide to help you understand these costs and navigate the process.
How Much Does A Gastroscopy Cost In Singapore?
The cost of a gastroscopy in Singapore varies, predominantly depending on the surgical clinic or medical institution where the procedure is performed. On average, the gastroscopy cost in Singapore ranges from $150 to $2,500 (SGD). This estimated cost typically covers the consultation fee, endoscope usage, sedation, and recovery room charges.
However, it’s crucial to remember that other fees may apply. Additional costs may be necessary if your doctor finds abnormal findings during the examination. For instance, if biopsies are required for tissue samples, polyp removal or other interventions are required, these will likely incur additional costs.
Insurance Provider And Cashless Eligibility
In Singapore, many insurance providers offer coverage for gastroscopy procedures. This can be part of a comprehensive health insurance plan or an additional coverage option. Before scheduling your gastroscopy procedure, you must check your insurance details thoroughly. This includes verifying the coverage details for your gastroscopy procedure and confirming your cashless eligibility.
Cashless eligibility is a service where patients undergo the gastroscopy procedure without making any upfront payments. Instead, the insurance provider directly settles the bill with the medical institution. This service can significantly reduce the financial burden for patients, making the process hassle-free and more manageable.
Integrated Shield Plan
Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) encourages residents to have an Integrated Shield Plan (IP). This plan is an additional private insurance that complements the basic MediShield Life coverage, ensuring more extensive protection. IPs often cover the cost of a gastroscopy procedure, apart from other selected inpatient and outpatient treatments.
The extent of coverage provided by IPs depends on the plan’s specific features, such as the type of ward, the annual claim limit, and the choice of medical institutions. Some IPs may even cover other fees associated with the procedure. Therefore, verifying the details of your Integrated Shield Plan is crucial to ensure that your gastroscopy costs are adequately covered.
Why Do You Need A Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy is a diagnostic procedure performed to examine the upper digestive tract, including the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach, and the first portion of the small intestine. This process is usually recommended to investigate symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, persistent discomfort, and symptoms suggestive of colon cancer or Crohn’s disease.
The procedure involves a general surgeon inserting a flexible tube called an endoscope through the patient’s mouth to push it down the digestive tract carefully. This tube helps in visualising the stomach and the small intestine. If necessary, the doctor can take tissue samples to diagnose conditions such as ulcers, abnormalities or even remove a foreign body if present.
What To Expect From A Gastroscopy Procedure
Once you’ve decided to undergo a gastroscopy at a surgical clinic or a hospital, there are a few things you need to prepare for:
- Fasting: You will be asked to fast for at least 6 hours before the procedure to ensure your stomach is empty.
- Medical History: Your doctor needs to know your medical history, including any medication you take, especially blood thinners.
- Estimated Cost and Insurance Details: Discuss the estimated cost of the procedure with your doctor and check the insurance details, including whether the procedure is cashless eligibility or if your Integrated Shield Plan covers it.
A gastroscopy is a day surgery procedure, so an overnight stay is not typically required. The standard diagnostic gastroscopy process includes the following:
- Sedation: You will be sedated to help minimise discomfort during the procedure.
- Endoscopy: The doctor inserts a flexible tube called an endoscope into your oesophagus, stomach, and the first portion of the small intestine.
- Examination: The surgeon will carefully examine the lining of your upper gastrointestinal tract. The procedure may include taking tissue samples for further testing or removing polyps if found.
After the gastroscopy or post-procedure, you will be moved to a recovery area. Here’s what to expect post-procedure:
- Recovery Time: Most patients recover from the sedative effects within an hour. However, you must arrange for someone to drive you home as the sedative can impair your reflexes for a day.
- Results: If the doctor found abnormal findings, further examination, such as biopsy testing, may be required. The doctor will explain any discovered ulcers, inflammation, or other digestive system conditions.
Enquire Now About The Cost Of A Gastroscopy In Singapore
Inquire about a detailed cost breakdown of a gastroscopy procedure with Dr Leong. He is a colorectal surgeon in Singapore, specialising in colonoscopy screening, diagnosing colorectal cancers, and performing other gastrointestinal and colorectal-related procedures.
Schedule a consultation today or visit his clinic at the following address:
820 Thomson Road, Mount Alvernia Hospital
Medical Centre A #01-06, Singapore 574623.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Cost Of A Gastroscopy In Singapore
How Long Is A Gastroscopy?
A gastroscopy procedure typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes, although this can vary depending on individual circumstances and if any additional interventions are necessary.
What’s The Difference Between A Gastroscopy And Endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a broad term referring to procedures involving an endoscope to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity. Gastroscopy is a specific type of endoscopy that inspects the upper digestive tract, including the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
Is A Gastroscopy Painful?
While a gastroscopy may cause minor discomfort, it’s not usually painful. Patients are often sedated, which helps minimise discomfort during the procedure.
How Long Is Recovery After A Gastroscopy?
Recovery after a gastroscopy is typically quick, with most patients able to resume normal activities within 24 hours. However, patients should refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours due to the sedative effects.
What Are The Risks Of A Gastroscopy?
Although gastroscopy is generally safe, it carries small risks like all procedures. These may include minor bleeding, especially if a biopsy is taken, and rare instances of perforation or reaction to the sedation.
Is A Gastroscopy Subsidised In Singapore?
Yes. For Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, they can opt to pay for their gastroscopy procedure via Medisave. Personal insurance can also shoulder the costs. Before getting insurance, enquire with the provider on whether or not the plan covers in-patient/out-patient gastroscopy in your preferred hospital.