Biopsies taken during gastroscopy

  • 2 replies
  • 34 subscribers


Yesterday I had a gastroscopy and biopsies were taken.

The report says 'mild oesophagitis' and 'More pronounced pre plyoric gastritis which may well be bile reflux'.

If I'd had my wits about me (which I didn't because I had had a sedative!) I would have asked what the biopsies were for.

I understood from what the doctor said, that there was no cancer, but how can they be sure if they don't know what the results of the biopsies will be? I suppose what I am really asking is, 'what else is detected by taking biopsies?'

I know I need to be patient and wait for the results but I thought perhaps you could put my mind at rest.

  • Hi Elastigirl

    Thanks for getting in touch with us. My name is  Tricia and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.

    I hope you are recovering well from your gastroscopy and biopsies.

    During the gastroscopy they would have looked at the lining of your oesophagus (food gullet), stomach and first part of your small intestine to see if any abnormal areas.  It sounds like the Dr hasn’t see anything such as a growth that looks like a cancer which is reassuring.

    According to your report it seems they have seen some areas that may have some inflammation in your oesophagus - Oesophagitis and also in your stomach - Gastritis. These are common problems that can cause symptoms.

    Biopsies taken in gastroscopy are common and look to diagnose benign (non- cancerous) conditions as well as cancer.  The biopsies you had are likely to have been taken to confirm the diagnosis of inflammation that the Dr had seen during the procedure. They will possibly use the biopsies to test for Helicobacter pylori  also to see if there is a bacteria in the stomach that may be the cause of the gastritis.

    It is difficult waiting for results but certainly from what you have said is in the report, there isn’t anything such as cancer seen during the procedure so unlikely there is cancer and biopsies can reassure you. The  biopsy results should provide a confirmed diagnosis of what they suspect with the inflammation. Once you have these results, they will let you know if you need  treatment and advise on diet which may help with your symptoms.

    I hope this is helpful. Please don’t hesitate to get back in touch at any time.

    Sending best wishes,


    Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email

     Ref: TT/FM

  • Thank you Tricia,

    That is very helpful indeed and very reassuring.

    Many thanks again.

    Best wishes,