A description of your symptoms and a physical exam may not be enough to diagnose a gastrointestinal condition. At her gastroenterology practice, with offices in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, Shahla Rah, MD, FACG, performs a colonoscopy to evaluate your large intestines to confirm or rule out a suspected gastrointestinal disease. She also performs the diagnostic test to screen for colon cancer. To schedule a consultation with this board-certified gastroenterologist, call the office, or request an appointment online.
A colonoscopy is an examination of the lining of your colon and rectum, also known as your large intestines. Dr. Rah performs your colonoscopy using a thin, flexible tube outfitted with a camera referred to as a colonoscope. During the exam, she slowly guides the scope through your large intestines and closely evaluates the tissue looking for abnormalities.
Dr. Rah may recommend a colonoscopy for many reasons. She may suggest the exam to determine the underlying cause of your gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, blood in your stool, or abdominal pain.
The colonoscopy is also recommended as a screening tool for colon cancer. Everyone 50 and older needs to have a colon cancer screening. During the screening test, if Dr. Rah finds any polyps, which are abnormal growths that form in the lining of your large intestines, she removes them. Though rarely cancerous, certain types of polyps can turn into cancer and removing them may reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Dr. Rah provides you with specific instructions on how to prepare for your colonoscopy. Preparation requires removal of all stool and residue from your large intestines, which improves Dr. Rah’s visibility of your tissue.
Your preparation may include diet modification in the days leading up to your exam, along with laxatives that help empty the bowel.
Dr. Rah performs your colonoscopy under sedation to ease discomfort and anxiety. After your sedation has taken effect, she inserts the colonoscope into your anus and then through your rectum and colon. Your colonoscopy should only take 15-30 minutes.
After you’ve completed the exam, Dr. Rah has your remain in the recovery area to monitor for sedation side effects. She may also review any preliminary findings from your exam and schedule a follow-up appointment for a comprehensive review and treatment plan. Because of the sedation, she recommends you arrange to have someone drive you home after your colonoscopy.
If you have concerns about gastrointestinal health or colon cancer, call Shahla Rah, MD, FACG, or select the online booking button to schedule a consultation.