Gastro screenings provide a means for doctors to examine portions of the gastrointestinal system to detect potential problems. A gastro screening can aid in the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, and other gastrointestinal conditions. The highly skilled doctors at San Diego Gastroenterology Medical Associates in San Diego, CA can perform a gastro screening to identify the cause of any gastrointestinal problems you might be experiencing.
Gastroenterology Screening Methods
We utilize several methods for performing gastro screenings at our practice in San Diego. Some of these screening methods include:
- Upper Endoscopy
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
- Wireless Capsule Endoscopy
- Endoscopic Ultrasonography
The procedure differs for each gastro screening method, but they all involve a close examination of some parts of the gastrointestinal system. For example, a colonoscopy involves the use of an instrument called a colonoscope to view the lining of the colon and look for problem areas. A colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube containing a tiny video camera on one end that is able to transmit images to a screen during the procedure.
The colonoscope is gently passed through the rectum and into the large intestine, which is also the colon. The tiny camera on the end transmits video images to a screen that can be viewed immediately. These images allow doctors to identify suspicious growths, such as polyps, and then take samples to be biopsied. Colonoscopies and other gastro screening methods help in the detection of various gastrointestinal conditions.
How Gastro Screenings Help
Gastro screenings help by making it possible to detect various gastrointestinal conditions, such as ulcerative colitis or colon cancer, without performing invasive exploratory surgery. Based on the particular symptoms you are experiencing and other factors, one of our experienced gastroenterologists will determine which type of screening method(s) should be performed. Gastro screenings can be used to diagnose many different conditions, including:
- Colon polyps
- Colon cancer
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
When to Have a Gastro Screening
A gastro screening might be needed if you are experiencing persistent gastrointestinal problems. It is also beneficial to undergo screening if you have a family history of certain conditions, such as colon cancer. Even for individuals in optimal health with no family history of gastrointestinal problems, it is best to schedule a colonoscopy by 50 years of age when the risk of developing colon cancer increases. In general, you should speak to a doctor about scheduling a gastro screening if you regularly experience the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody stools
- Thin stools
- Chronic fatigue
- Changes in bowel habits
Gastro screenings can lead to the diagnosis of various gastrointestinal problems. The sooner the problem is identified, the sooner treatment can begin and you can experience relief.
Schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists to discuss your symptoms and undergoing a gastro screening by calling San Diego Gastroenterology Medical Associates in San Diego at (619) 291-6064.