Moshe Barnajian, MD
Minimally Invasive and Robotic Colorectal Surgeon based at Cedars Sinai, Los Angeles
Colonoscopy Q & A
Why do I need a colonoscopy?
Equipped with a tiny camera and a small light, a colposcope can take high-definition images of the inner lining of your colon and rectum. The scope transmits these images directly back to Dr. Barnajian, so he can determine if there are any abnormalities. He can even take a biopsy on the spot.
You may need a colonoscopy if you’re experiencing any of the following issues:
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- History of polyps
- Abdominal pain
It’s important for all adults age 50 and over to start getting regular colonoscopies every 10 years. If you have certain risk factors, such as a family or personal history of colorectal cancer, earlier and more frequent colonoscopies may be necessary.
What can I expect during a colonoscopy?
Dr. Barnajian performs a colonoscopy in a comfortable setting, so you can relax throughout your procedure. Even though you’re awake, Dr. Barnajian can issue mild sedatives to further put your mind at ease and to minimize any mild discomfort you may experience.
During your procedure, you lie on your side and bring your knees toward your chest. Dr. Barnajian gently inserts the thin colonoscope into your rectum. He moves the scope further into your rectum and colon, while pumping in small amounts of carbon dioxide.
By inflating your colon, Dr. Barnajian can gather more in-depth images of the lining. Though not painful, this part of your colonoscopy causes minor cramping and a sensation of needing to have a bowel movement.
If Dr. Barnajian sees any abnormal polyps or other growths during your colonoscopy, he’s able to insert thin, flexible tools through the channel to take any necessary biopsies. Depending on your colon health, an entire colonoscopy takes 30-60 minutes.
How do I prepare for my colonoscopy?
To prepare for your upcoming colonoscopy with Dr. Barnajian, you have to follow a special diet for one or two days. Dr. Barnajian counsels you about the details of this limited diet ahead of time. But in general, you need to limit your food intake to only clear liquids, such as black coffee or tea, broth, carbonated beverages, and frozen pops.
It’s extremely important to avoid consuming anything that’s red in color, like fruit punch, since the color can be mistaken for blood in your bowels. Dr. Barnajian is also likely going to recommend a laxative or enema kit, too. The purpose of these steps is to clear out your colon and rectum as much as possible, so no residue blocks colposcope images.
If you think you may need a colonoscopy or are due for a screening, contact the office of Moshe Barnajian, MD, today. You can book an evaluation online or over the phone.