What is endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a procedure in which a Gastroenterology specialist observes the upper or lower digestive tract through a flexible tube with a camera, known as an endoscope.

There are two general types of endoscopies:

  1. Upper endoscopy.
  2. Lower endoscopy.

1. Upper endoscopy.

In an upper endoscopy, your doctor will examine the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. A gastrocope is inserted through the mouth and allows direct visualization of injuries and signs of disease that exist in that portion of the upper part of the digestive tract, including esophagitis, hiatus hernias, gastritis, ulcers, tumors, and possible others. This technique also allows your doctor to take tissue samples for biopsies and certain therapeutic actions.

2. Lower endoscopy.

In a lower endoscopy, often referred to as a colonoscopy, your doctor is able to see the entire colon and even the lower centimeters of the small intestine, thus allowing the diagnosis of diseases of the large intestine and the treatment of some of them.

When are these tests recommended?

The great advantage of endoscopy is that it allows direct visualization, so its diagnostic precision is superior to any other type of examination. As a result, your doctor may recommend an endoscopy whenever there is suspicion of an issue in your digestive tract or to monitor a known condition for you. Your doctor might suggest an endoscopy to:

  • Evaluate symptoms you are experiencing. An endoscopy can be helpful in assessing the causes for digestive symptoms like heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Diagnose the cause of diseases or other conditions. Special tools attached to the endoscope can collect tissue samples for biopsy to evaluate for diseases or other conditions that may be causing pain, anemia, inflammation, or other symptoms.
  • Treatment. The tools that can be used with an endoscope also allow your doctor to directly treat certain situations, like a certain forms of bleed vessel, remove a polyp or a foreign object, expand narrow areas, place protheses along the digestive system or bile ducts, removal of stones in the bile ducts, and more.
  • Colocación de prótesis a lo largo del aparato digestivo o de las vías biliares.

In addition, a colonoscopy is today a basic pillar in the prevention of colon cancer, so your doctor may schedule these for you routinely, based on factors like your age, health risks for cancer, and other factors.

Will I be awake during the procedure?

People’s tolerance to digestive endoscopy varies widely, so most people who have an endoscopy receive a mild sedative to help them relax and relieve anxiety during the procedure. Because of the concern we have for our patient’s care and safety, at Hospital CIMA, this sedation, in most cases, is provided by a medical specialist in Anesthesia. It is not unusual for people to fall asleep during the procedure and not remember it afterward.

To Schedule Your Appointment

We offer three easy ways for you to schedule your appointment:

  • While you are at Hospital CIMA, you can visit our Digestive Endoscopy Center, located on the first floor of the hospital.
  • Contact us by telephone at (+506) 2208-1137 or (+506) 2208-1136.
  • Email us at programacion@hospitalcima.com.

Non-emergency appointments are available Monday through Friday (insert times). Appointments for other days may be available by arrangement. Please contact us by telephone if you require an appointment for a Saturday or Sunday.