Alaska Digestive Center
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Common Findings
Colonoscopy Findings

Polyps are small growths in the colon, most often benign lesions. Some polyps have the potential to become malignant and transform into cancers. Polyps are removed at endoscopy and the pathology allows your physician to determine if and when follow-up examinations will be needed.

Diverticulosis refers to small pouches that form in the wall of the colon, called Diverticuli. They are typically in the lower colon but may be anywhere in the colon. If infected or bleeding, they require treatment. People who consume a Western diet are most susceptible. Common treatment includes a high fiber diet and avoiding constipation.

Colitis is a general term which refers to inflammation in the colon. It can have many causes. The treatment of colitis will vary depending on the cause. It is best to discuss the finding with your doctor.

Hemorrhoids refers to inflammation of the hemorrhoidal blood vessels at the anal opening at the end of the colon. They can cause itching, irritation, and minor bleeding in the anal areal. No treatment is needed if they are discovered and no symptoms are present. Common treatment includes topical therapies as well as a high fiber diet. In rare cases surgery may be required to remove or ablate the hemorrhoids.

Upper GI Endoscopy Findings

Esophagitis refers to inflammation of the esophagus. The most common cause of esophagitis is gastroesophogeal reflux disease(GERD). This is the reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. There are lifestyle modifications which can be made for GERD. Medications to suppress or neutralize stomach acid are the most common medical treatment for GERD.

Gastritis refers to inflammation of the stomach. There are many things that can cause gastritis. The most common are a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori and aspirin like pain medications. Treatment may include stopping medications that cause gastritis, eradicating Helicobacter Pylori, and medications that suppress acid.

Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers are areas where the lining of the stomach or bowel has been eroded away. They are similar to an abrasion on the skin. The most common causes are Helicobacter Pylori and aspirin like pain medications. Treatment may include stopping medications that cause ulcers, eradicating Helicobacter Pylori, and medications that suppress acid.

Barretts Esophagus refers to an area of the esophagus which when viewed under a microscope looks like small intestinal tissue. The exact cause is unclear but it is more common in people who have problems with gastroesophogeal reflux(GERD). Barretts esophagus does carry an increased risk of esophageal cancer and requires periodic endoscopies for surveillance. All patients with this condition need to be on medication to suppress stomach acid.

Hiatal Hernia refers to part of the stomach being in the chest cavity. It is an extremely common finding. A hiatal hernia makes a person more likely to get gastroesophogeal reflux(GERD) but is not a problem which requires repair unless the hernia becomes very large.

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