Colonoscopy Los Angeles: Patient Education Overview
Thank you for visiting the Gastroenterology Institute of Southern California to learn about colonoscopy. Los Angeles County is home to more than 2.5 million individuals over the age of 50—the age when most people should get their first colon cancer screening. Yet many people don’t follow through with this important cancer prevention test, and this mistake can have tragic consequences. Approximately 50,000 patients in the U.S. die each year from colorectal cancer. Earlier screening and minimally invasive treatment could save most of these patients, giving them the chance to live long, healthy lives. Getting educated is the first step.
Fast Facts about Colonoscopy and Colon Cancer
- By the time symptoms become apparent, colon cancer has often progressed to an advanced stage where treatment is more invasive and less effective. This is why screening for polyps is so important.
- A polyp or adenoma is an area of abnormal tissue that indicates precancerous changes. Not all of these lesions are cancerous. A biopsy is the only accurate way to know for sure.
- Gastroenterologists have a better polyp detection rate compared to primary care physicians and surgeons, reducing the incidence of colon cancer deaths among patients.
- A new technique called the “3rd eye colonoscopy” uses a second camera to check behind folds of tissue in the colon. It can increase polyp detection rates by 33%, providing additional peace of mind.
- Some patients should be screened before age 50. This includes African Americans, individuals with a family history of colon cancer, and those with certain disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.
- Most people who undergo a colonoscopy find that the experience is a lot easier than they expected. It typically takes less than 30 minutes.
Understanding Colonoscopy Los Angeles: Procedure Overview
Colonoscopy is the most accurate method for identifying areas on the lining of the colon (large intestine) that show signs of precancerous changes. Patients prepare for the test by switching to a liquid diet for one day prior and taking a liquid to cleanse the colon and provide a clear view. Before the procedure begins, the patient receives sedation through an IV so they will be extremely comfortable during the procedure.
This procedure uses a colonoscope which is a flexible, narrow tube equipped with a light and camera to fully investigate the interior of the colon. It is inserted into the rectum and moved up all the way to the beginning of the colon. As it is very slowly withdrawn, a video of the colon lining is viewed on a monitor to check for problems such as polyps or ulcers. Additional instruments may be inserted through the scope to remove polyps, biopsy abnormal tissue, and stop any slight bleeding that might occur. After a brief resting period, patients can be driven home and can resume normal activities the following day.
Often, polyps can be removed completely during a colonoscopy, so further surgery is not required. Any tissue removed will be tested to check for cancer. Follow up screenings at regular intervals can help ensure that the colon remains cancer free.
Need a Colonoscopy Los Angeles GI Doctor? Dr. Peyton Berookim Can Help
Year after year, Peyton Berookim, MD, FACG is recognized as one of the best GI doctors in the nation. He is committed to providing patients with the most effective, accurate, and comfortable colon cancer screening possible. Dr. Berookim is one of the few gastroenterologists in the Los Angeles area to offer the advanced 3rd eye colonoscopy. He performs colonoscopies at the fully equipped, state-of-the art LaPeer Surgery Center and has privileges at the world class Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His rates for polyp detection are consistently among the best in the U.S.
Dr. Berookim has an outstanding reputation for educating and informing patients while helping them feel at ease during each step of their colon cancer screening. To learn more about colonoscopy or to schedule your consultation, call our Beverly Hills office at 310.271.1122.