Many people shudder at the prospect of having a colonoscopy, but in reality, a colonoscopy is a simple outpatient procedure – and it can save your life. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. One of 20 people will develop colon cancer if they do not have a colonoscopy. If colon cancer is caught early, however, the prognosis for recovery is very good. A colonoscopy is the only method to determine if cancer or precancerous polyps are present in the colon – and it can help prevent colon cancer before it develops by removing precancerous polyps. The colonoscopy is a short, 30-minute examination that allows the doctor to view the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract – or large intestine. While the patient is under sedation, a flexible endoscope is inserted slowly into the anus and through the length of the large intestine. The scope has a light, camera and advanced tools to remove abnormal tissue. These abnormalities, known as colon polyps are considered pre-cancerous growths, and are removed during the procedure to prevent them from progressing to colon cancer. Removed polyps are submitted to the lab for evaluation under a microscope by a trained GI pathologist to determine if they contain any abnormal cells. A colonoscopy can also detect bowel diseases such as bleeding, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain.
Every adult should have a colonoscopy. Your doctor will determine when you should have a colonoscopy, and will consider factors like a history of colon cancer in the family, changes in bowel movement habits, bleeding, abdominal pain, blood in the stools or a prior history of colon cancer or precancerous polyps.
Third Eye® is a revolutionary advancement in colonoscopy technology that increases the likelihood of finding hidden polyps in the colon. With a traditional colonoscopy, an endoscope is moved through the entirety of the colon, and the colon is examined using a front-facing camera as it is withdrawn. With Third Eye, a panoramic retroscope (backwards-facing cameras) is added to provide a more complete view of the colon lining during the procedure, allowing both forward (anterograde) and backward (retrograde) views during the procedure – and increasing the likelihood of detecting and removing colon polyps.
Published clinical results show that 2/3 of missed pre-cancerous polyps were located on the back side of folds within the colon lining – often hidden from the forward view of a standard colonoscope. Third Eye colonoscopy enables physicians to examine behind the folds to more accurately detect and remove pre-cancerous polyp formation. In a recent study of the Third Eye Panoramic device, endoscopists detected at least one adenoma in 44% of the patients they examined using the device along with a standard colonoscope. Preparation, recovery, and risks associated with a Third Eye Panoramic colonoscopy are the same as for a standard colonoscopy procedure.