A surgery operating room with a doctor sitting  at a computer desk.

Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic Procedures

External imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can provide valuable insights into a patient's medical conditions. However, in some cases, the most effective way to screen for health issues is to use an endoscope—a long, flexible tube with a small camera.

Depending on the area of the body being examined, the endoscope may be inserted through the patient's mouth and carefully guided through the esophagus and stomach, or it may be inserted through the rectum into the colon. This procedure can provide real-time images of the affected area and allow doctors to collect tissue samples or place a monitoring sensor to record vital information that can assist with the diagnosis.


Also referred to as EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) or Upper GI Endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that involves visualization of the oropharynx, esophagus, stomach, and proximal (nearer to center of body) duodenum.

Some common reasons to have this procedure include:
- Heartburn
- Difficultly Swallowing
- Painful Swallowing
- Bleeding
- Other Upper GI Symptoms

During this procedure, your provider can diagnose the follow:
- Ulcers
- Gastritis
- Tumors
- Cause for Bleeding
- Cause for Pain

During this procedure, your surgeon may take a biopsy/biopsies to remove polyps or foreign contents (such as food). During this procedure, your surgeon may also intervene to stop bleeding that is identified as well as open esophageal strictures which can be described as narrowed areas in the esophagus.


A Colonoscopy is a procedure that involves insertion of a flexible instrument through the anus to examine your colon for screening or diagnostic purposes. During this exam, your surgeon is able to view the inside walls of your colon and identify abnormal areas.

The American Cancer Society now recommends screening for colon cancer to begin at age 45.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in both men and women, yet remains one of the most preventable types of cancers.

  • Family history of polyps or colorectal cancer
  • You have a history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
  • You have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease
  • You have been diagnosed with a genetic syndrome such as FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis) or another hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.

Talk with your primary care provider to share your personal or familial history that places you at an increased risk. Patients with a high risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent testing than others.

Colon cancer begins in your body as an abnormal growth of tissue/clump of cells in the lining of your colon called a polyp.

About Colon Polyps

No, not all polyps turn into cancer, but all cancers start as polyps.

No, not necessarily. Colon polyps do not usually cause symptoms. This makes it very important to have regular colorectal screening such as a colonoscopy.

Having a colonoscopy allows for early detection and removal of polyps and is the best way to prevent colon cancer. When polyps are not found and removed it increases your risk for developing colon cancer.

Having a colonoscopy effectively detects suspicious polyps at a rate of >50% compared to other options. Colonoscopies have been identified as the “Gold Standard” by both the American Cancer Society as well as the

· Bloody stools

· Change in bowel habits

· Rectal or abdominal pain

· Unexpected weight loss

· Unexplained or new anemia

Reach out to your primary care provider to be seen/evaluated. Your primary care provider will work directly with our OCAHS Surgical Team/ office to coordinate your diagnostic colonoscopy.

Many insurance plans and Medicare help pay for colorectal cancer screening tests. Please check with your individual plan to find out if this is covered. To find out about Medicare coverage, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or visit www.medicare.gov.