What is a Colonoscopy?
According to Mayoclinic.org, a colonoscopy (koe-lun-OS-kuh-pee) is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon. A colonoscopy allows Dr. Tabib to look inside your entire large intestine, from the rectum all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine to screen for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It is also used to diagnose the causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits.
For our colonoscopy Los Angeles, you will lie on your left side on the examining table. Pain medication and a mild sedative are administered to keep you comfortable and help you relax throughout the exam. Dr. Tabib then inserts a flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guides it into your colon. The tube, called a colonoscope, transmits an image of the inside of the colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. The scope is flexible, allowing Dr. Tabib to move it around the curves of your colon. The scope also inflates the colon to allow for easier navigation and viewing.
If anything abnormal is seen in your colon, like a colon polyp or inflamed tissue, Dr. Tabib can remove all or part of it using tiny instruments passed through the scope. He can use it to take a biopsy or tissue sample for further lab testing. Any bleeding in the colon can be stopped using a laser, heater probe, electrical probe or special medicines through the scope.
The colonoscopy procedure usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes. Because you will be sedated during the examination, you will need to remain at our facility for a short time until the anesthesia wears off.
Reason for Colonoscopy Exam:
When having a colonoscopy in Los Angeles, you are preventing colorectal cancer. There are many problems that may occur in the colon and the best way to know is to look inside of the colon in order to eliminate and prevent further complications.
If you are over the age of 50 (or younger with a family history concerning colon issues, it is recommended that you get screened)
- Abnormal weight loss
- Regular abdominal discomfort or pain
- Drastic change in bowel habits- constipation or continuing diarrhea
Detecting following the conditions is another reason for a colonoscopy exam:
- Polyps – extra tissues that grow inside the body.
- Cancer- very serious but can be preventable if detected early.
- Colitis – inflammation of the colon.
- Diverticulosis – pockets that form on the inner wall of the intestine.
- Bleeding lesions – bleeding happens from different parts in the colon.
Colonoscopy is generally safe if performed by a specialist who is trained and has years of experience in doing the procedure. On a rare occasion, colonoscopy side effects may include cramping, bloating and distension may happen after the exam. Some individuals may experience spotting after the exam. Serious colonoscopy side effects are not common for colonoscopy procedures unless a diagnostic error occurs. That is why it is best to do the exam with a specialist. Dr. Tabib is one of the best gastroenterologists in Los Angeles with experience in performing many thousands of colonoscopies over his career. Call us today to schedule a screening for your colonoscopy in Los Angeles.
After your exam, Dr. Tabib will review the colonoscopy results thoroughly. He will explain the colonoscopy results findings to you and discuss further options or recommendations when necessary. If a biopsy or polyp removal was performed, the final pathology colonoscopy results will be available in a few days. You will then need to do a follow up call or schedule another office visit to go over these results in more detail. If your doctor is concerned about the visual quality of your results, a repeat or virtual colonoscopy may be recommended.
If you receive a negative result, it means the doctor did not find abnormalities in the colon. It is recommended to repeat the colon exam every 10 years within a specified age range. If anything prevented accurate visualization during the procedure, Dr. Tabib may recommend a repeat exam to ensure definite results.
If the colonoscopy had a positive result, it means the doctor found polyps or abnormal tissue in the colon. This may or may not be serious as most polyps are not cancerous or are found while they are precancerous. For this reason, any polyps found are removed and sent to a laboratory for further analysis in order to determine whether they are noncancerous, precancerous or cancerous. These findings may affect future colonoscopy exams. Recommendations vary depending on each patient’s risk factors. A repeat colonoscopy in Los Angeles may be required sooner than the ten years and can vary from every three to five years. If several polyps were found, the colonoscopy exam may need to be repeated months later. You may need to see a gastroenterologist if any further abnormal tissue could not be removed or surgery is required.
Colonoscopy preparation is needed in order for your colonoscopy to be safe and effective. This means your colon must be completely empty. Colonoscopy preparation for the procedure requires you to follow a liquid diet on the day before your colonoscopy exam. Acceptable foods may include water, fat-free bouillon or broth, strained fruit juice, plain coffee, plain tea, diet soda, and gelatin or popsicles in any color but red. You will also to take a laxative the night before the procedure.
You should arrange for someone to take you home afterward, as you will be groggy because of the sedatives. Dr. Tabib may give you other special instructions. Inform Dr. Tabib of any medical conditions or medications that you take before the colonoscopy.
Bleeding and puncture of the colon are possible complications of colonoscopy. However, such complications are rare and uncommon.
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