Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Upper endoscopy is a visual examination of the mucosa in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. It is also called Panendoscopy. In order to perform it, a flexible probe (endoscope) is introduced through the mouth. The doctor then can see any abnormalities such as ulcers, polyps or tumors through the optical probe. If necessary, small tissue samples (biopsies) will be collected for microscopic examination without causing pain to the patient.


We can perform some treatments using the endoscope, including dilating narrowed areas in the esophagus, stomach or duodenum and removing polyps or swallowed objects. Also, the endoscope helps with ulcer bleeding by the injection of substances or by the application of heat (electrocoagulation).



We recommend that the patient’s stomach be empty to have optimal vision. Therefore, not eating or drinking anything for eight hours before the examination is advised. If the patient is under any medication, it is recommendable to discuss it with a doctor previously; in general, the person should not take products containing aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs. Other substances such as; anticoagulants, antacid preparations in suspension or iron, at least during the fasting period before the examination, are not to be taken.



The doctor and nurse will explain the process and answer the patient’s questions. The person to be examined should communicate to the staff if they previously had undergone any other endoscopic examination or if they had any allergies or reactions to any medications. The patient will be asked to sign a consent form for the endoscopy and any treatment resulting from it. They also will be asked to wear a hospital gown and remove glasses, contact lenses, and dentures.


The doctor will give the patient sedative medication through the vein, making them drowsy and relaxed. The person will be placed lying on their left side. Then, the physician will introduce the endoscope through the mouth into the throat. The patient will be asked to swallow to facilitate the passage of the endoscope into the esophagus. Also, a mouthpiece will be placed in the patient’s mouth to protect their teeth. The endoscope must not hinder breathing or cause any pain. The patient will need to suck air through their mouth and let the saliva drain while exploring. The examination will last from five to fifteen minutes.




Complications from the study are rare, including drug reactions, bleeding and even rarer bowel perforation (less than 1 per 1,000 scans). However, in the case they occur, they may require urgent treatment, including surgery. The risks are slightly higher if colonoscopy is used for treatment such as polyp removal.