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GI Labs: Charting the Inside Passages

Medical science has created powerful tools that allow physician specialists called gastroenterologists to examine segments of the continuous passageway through the body that extends from the throat to the rectum. Although some of these examinations can be performed in a physician’s office, patients are often referred to a specialized hospital department called a GI Laboratory.

The GI Lab at Simi Valley Hospital offers state-of-the-art care by specially trained and certified staff. All nurses in the department are registered nurses certified in advanced cardiac life support. Two RNs are present during every procedure — one assisting the physician and the other monitoring the patient.

In addition, GI Lab Manager Cathy Dye, RN, is among a small percentage of GI Lab nurses nationwide who have passed a rigorous examination to earn certification as a CGRN — certified gastroenterology registered nurse.

Simi Valley gastroenterologists Moe Amadpour, MD, and Mahendra Patel, MD, perform a variety of procedures in SVH’s GI Lab, including colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, ERCP (examination of bile ducts, gall bladder and related structures), feeding tube placement, flexible sigmoidoscopy and others.

Cancer Killer

Among the many procedures in SVH’s GI Lab, colonoscopy predominates. In fact, the GI Lab at SVH is the only facility in Simi Valley that offers colonoscopy.

Unfortunately, too few people take advantage of this powerful tool. Colonoscopy not only detects potentially cancerous colon growths called polyps, but physicians can actually remove polyps during the procedure — virtually eliminating the chance of cancer.

Men and women with an average risk for colon cancer should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, starting at age 50. Those with risk factors — inflammatory bowel disease, a family history of cancer or polyps and so forth — should begin screening at a younger age.

Talk with your doctor about having your colonoscopy or other gastrointestinal procedure performed by the professionals in the GI Lab at Simi Valley Hospital.