Third Eye® Colonoscopy

A revolutionary device for colorectal cancer screening is making its way to the forefront of the gastroenterology practice at the Center for GI Health. Third Eye® colonoscopy uses an advanced device during the colonoscopy procedure to gain a more complete view of the colon lining. This allows physicians to better detect abnormal growths in the colon which, if not removed, can lead to colorectal cancer.

Dr. Ari Nowain, a board-certified gastroenterologist at the Center for GI Health, now offers this ground-breaking procedure, which is ideal for high risk patients.

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

third-eye-colonoscopy-device

This is the Third Eye retroscope.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer related death in the United States, with nearly 150,000 new cases occurring annually i. The colon, also known as the large intestine, is part of your digestive tract. Colorectal cancer typically develops from an abnormal growth, called a polyp, in the lining of the colon.

While most polyps are not cancerous, some can become cancerous over time. Colorectal screening is necessary to detect polyp formation within the colon and to determine whether or not the abnormal tissue is cancerous.

What Is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a colorectal screening procedure that allows a physician to see the inside of the large intestine. During the examination, patients are sedated and a colonoscope is inserted from the anus into the colon. The colonoscope consists of a light and camera fixed to a flexible tube, used to advance tools for biopsies or polyp removal. The camera allows the physician to examine the lining along the length of the colon and detect pre-cancerous polyps. If found, polyps are removed and looked at under a microscope by a pathologist to determine if there is any evidence of cancer or abnormal tissue that could be pre-cancerous. The procedure generally lasts between 20-30 minutes.

How Is Third Eye Colonoscopy Different?

During a standard colonoscopy, the physician advances the colonoscope to the end of the colon and sees only the colon lining that is directly in front of the colonoscope camera as it is withdrawn. During Third Eye colonoscopy, the physician inserts a small camera, the Third Eye® Retroscope device, through the colonoscope that looks backwards, providing an additional retrograde (“backward”) view of the colon lining during the procedure. The gastroenterologist can simultaneously see the colon in the forward (anterograde) and backward (retrograde) views during the procedure, thus increasing the likelihood of detecting and removing colon polyps.

Third-Eye-Colonoscopy

Published clinical results show that 2/3 of missed pre-cancerous polyps were located on the back side of folds within the colon lining ii, often hidden from the forward view of a standard colonoscope. Third Eye colonoscopy enables physicians to examine behind the folds and turns in the colon lining and more accurately detect pre-cancerous polyp formation. Published results from a recent clinical trial shows that Third Eye colonoscopy resulted in a 40% increase in pre-cancerous polyp detection in high risk patients iii. Detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps translates to improved prevention of colorectal cancer and more lives saved iv.

Preparation, recovery, and risks associated with a Third Eye colonoscopy are the same as for a standard colonoscopy procedure.

Who is a candidate for the Third Eye Colonoscopy?

Patients who are at higher risk for colorectal cancer, including those who have a personal history of colorectal cancer, had previous removal of polyps, have a family history of colorectal cancer, are presenting with worrisome symptoms such as blood in the stool, or who wish to be extra safe in their screening are good candidates for Third Eye colonoscopy.

If you would like to schedule a consultation regarding a colonoscopy or the new ThirdEye colonoscopy procedure, contact Dr. Ari Nowain, expert Los Angeles gastroenterologist, today by calling (310) 657-4444 or fill out the online contact form on this website.


I. Siegel R, Ward E, Brawley O, Jemal A. Cancer Statistics, 2011. CA Cancer J Clin 2011;61:212-236.

II. Pickhardt PJ, Nugent PA, Schindler WR, et al. Location of adenomas missed by optical colonoscopy. Ann Intern Med 2004;141:352-9.

III. Siersema PD, Rastogi A, DeMarco DC, et al. Retrograde-viewing device improves adenoma detection rate in colonoscopies for surveillance and diagnostic workup. World J Gastroenterol 2012;18:3400-8.

IV. Zauber AG, Winawer SJ, Waye JD, et al. Colonoscopic polypectomy and long-term prevention of colorectal-cancer deaths. N Engl J Med 2012;366:687-96.