Posts for tag: Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy can be a great diagnostic tool for figuring out certain intestinal issues.
As a medical news report or general doctor may have already told you, a colonoscopy is a great preventive procedure that everyone will have to go through at some point during their lifetime. As we get older, our risk of developing colorectal cancer increases. As a result, it’s a good time to schedule your first colonoscopy with your gastroenterologist around the time you turn 50 years old. This goes for both men and women.
What is a colonoscopy?
This diagnostic procedure is the best way to fully examine and inspect the colon to check for polyps or cancer symptoms. A colonoscopy uses a small tube with a camera attached to the end that can run the full length of the colon so that your GI doctor can easily determine the cause of your gastrointestinal symptoms.
Who should be getting one?
If you come in complaining of abdominal pain or you notice blood in your stool, then a colonoscopy may be the best way to check for polyps, irritable bowel syndrome or other intestinal problems. Of course, even if someone isn’t experiencing symptoms, colonoscopies are still performed by your gastroenterologist.
This minimally invasive procedure is actually the best way to screen for colorectal cancer, and should be something that everyone gets once they reach their 50’s. You may also need to get a colonoscopy sooner if you have certain risk factors that increase your chances of colorectal cancer including:
A personal history with colorectal cancer or polyps
A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
You are a smoker
You are a heavy drinker
You lead a sedentary lifestyle
You have a diet heavy in red meats and fatty foods
You are obese
You are African American
What should I expect when I get a colonoscopy?
We will provide you with a preparation (either a liquid or pill) to take one day prior to your procedure to help empty your bowels before the procedure. When you come in for a colonoscopy we will have you lie on your side. Next, we will insert an IV into the arm to provide you with sedation that will help you feel more relaxed. Sedation can sometimes make people drowsy or fall asleep during their colonoscopy.
Next, the scope is inserted into the rectum and slowly passed through the intestines. Some air will also be directed through the scope to help us see the intestinal tract better and look for any polyps, bleeding, etc. If we do find a suspicious growth, we can also perform a biopsy. Polyps can also be removed during your procedure.
Don’t put off a colonoscopy. This procedure is easy, there is no recovery period and it could just end up saving your life. Call our office today if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or if you’ve just recently turned 50 and need to schedule your first colonoscopy with your gastroenterologist.
Delaying a colonoscopy could put your health in great jeopardy—are you overdue for this diagnostic procedure? Here at Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, your gastroenterologists use colonoscopies to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases and conditions, including cancer. Read on to learn more about why this treatment is so important to your overall health.
I'm in good health. Do I really need a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies are still important, even if you think that you feel totally fine. After all, as we grow older, our risk of colon cancer exponentially increases. Unfortunately, colon cancer doesn't usually cause any symptoms until it's very advanced and more difficult to treat.
Colonoscopies allow your gastroenterologist to not only see cancerous lesions, but also to spot and remove polyps without the need for surgery. Polyps are small growths that form on the lining of your colon and intestines, and although many are benign, some may turn out to be pre-cancerous or cancerous. Scheduling a colonoscopy when you turn 45 is a simple way to lower your cancer risk and receive prompt treatment should you receive a cancer diagnosis.
I thought I didn't need a colonoscopy until I was 50!
Last year, the American Cancer Society began recommending that people at average risk of colorectal cancer receive their first colonoscopy at age 45 rather than 50. The change was prompted by the increasing number of cancer cases in younger people.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
During the procedure, your gastroenterologist inserts a thin, flexible scope into your anus and passes it through your large intestine and lower part of the small intestine. The scope contains a light and a tiny camera that transmits images of the lining of your intestines to a digital monitor.
You'll need to take laxatives the day before your colonoscopy to ensure that your doctor has a clear view of your intestinal walls. Although this part of the process is a little unpleasant, it's absolutely essential and will ensure that your gastroenterologist in Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, or Pembroke Pines can easily see anything out of the ordinary in your intestines.
Time for a colonoscopy? Give us a call
A colonoscopy offers important benefits for your health. Call your gastroenterologists at Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, at (305) 822-4107 to make an appointment today.
While you may have never had a colonoscopy before, chances are good that you have at least heard about them. A minimally invasive nonsurgical procedure, colonoscopies allow our gastroenterologists in Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, to thoroughly examine and inspect the lining of the colon/rectum to look for potential issues. Here are some of the top reasons our medical team may recommend getting a colonoscopy,
Screen for Colorectal Cancer
A colonoscopy is still the very best and most effective tool for detecting the early signs of colorectal cancer. To date, there is no better procedure that can be performed to check for this type of cancer. Therefore, it’s highly advised that both men and women visit one of our offices in Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall, or Pembroke Pines, FL, for a routine colonoscopy by the time they reach 50 years old.
You Are Experiencing Certain Digestive Issues
Sometimes certain symptoms can also point towards the necessity of a colonoscopy. These symptoms include,
- Bowel changes (e.g. diarrhea or constipation)
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling as if the bowels don’t fully empty
- Very thin stool
- Unexplained and sudden weight loss
You Have Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
Perhaps you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or perhaps you’ve had colon polyps in the past. If this is the case, then your gastroenterologist may recommend getting a routine colonoscopy before the age of 50. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include,
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- A low-fiber, high-fat diet or a diet high in processed foods
- Being overweight or obese
- Tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
- Certain rare genetic disorders such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
If you have any of these risk factors, particularly if you have a family or personal history of colorectal cancer, you’ll want to talk with us about whether or not you should get screened earlier and more regularly.
If you are experiencing digestive problems that you can’t seem to get under control, it’s important that you find out what’s going on. Call the team at Digestive Medicine Associates today at (305) 822-4107 to schedule an appointment. We have locations Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL.
One of the most effective screening methods for detecting the earliest signs of colorectal cancer is through a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy allows a gastroenterologist to be able to examine the lining of the rectum and colon (lower intestines) to look for precancerous polyps and other warning signs. These precancerous polyps can also be removed during a colonoscopy before they have the chance to develop into cancer. This is why colon cancer screenings are so important.
Who should get regular colon cancer screenings?
Men and women who are between the ages of 45 and 75 should see their gastroenterologist for regular colon cancer screenings. While there are other methods for screening for colon cancer (e.g. stool test; flexible sigmoidoscopy) a colonoscopy is the most effective and accurate screening tool available.
If a patient has never had polyps or other precancerous warning signs they may not need to get further colorectal cancer screenings after age 75. Patients with risk factors may require additional routine screenings after the age of 75.
Of course sometimes it’s necessary to get a colon cancer screening before 45 years old. You may benefit from getting tested earlier if:
- You or an immediate family member has a history of colorectal polyps or colon cancer
- You’ve been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
- You lead an inactive, sedentary lifestyle
- You have a poor diet that is high in fat and low in fiber
- You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes
- You are obese
- You are a heavy alcohol consumer
- You are a smoker
- You’ve undergone radiation therapy to treat cancer
If you have any risk factors it’s important that you talk with your gastroenterologist to find out when you should start getting regular screenings and which screening is right for you based on your health coverage.
What should I expect from a colorectal cancer screening?
As we mentioned, the most common screening tool for colon cancer is a colonoscopy. During this procedure we will insert a thin flexible tube (called an endoscope) into the rectum and gently guide it through the large intestines. At the end of this endoscope is a camera. This camera will allow your GI doctor to look for polyps and other problem. If polyps are found they can be removed during your colonoscopy. If nothing is found during your diagnostic testing, a colonoscopy can take as little as 30 minutes. The patient will be under the effects of conscious sedation throughout the procedure.
Do you have questions about getting a colonoscopy? Is it time to schedule your first routine colon cancer screening? If so, then call your intestinal doctor today.
This simple diagnostic test could help us detect the early signs of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer can happen to both men and women. In many cases, you won’t even experience symptoms until the cancer has already advanced. Therefore, the most effective way to detect colorectal cancer early on is through routine colonoscopies. Wondering whether or not it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy with one of our Miami gastroenterologists? You should consider getting a colonoscopy if,
You Just Turned 50 Years Old
If you just turned 50 years old then one of the things to put on the top of your to-do list should be a colonoscopy. This rule applies to both men and women. If our Miami GI doctors do not detect any adenomas or colon polyps during your first colonoscopy and you don’t have any risk factors then you may not need to come in for your next colon cancer screening for another 10 years.
Of course, if we find one or two adenomas or polyps, you may need to come in more often for colonoscopies (about every 5 years). Routine colonoscopies usually aren’t required once you reach 75 years old.
You are at Risk for Colorectal Cancer
There are certain habits and factors that can increase your chances of developing colorectal cancer. It’s important to understand the risks. These risks include:
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A poor diet or a diet rich in fatty foods
- Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
- Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Personal history with colorectal polyps
- Being obese
You are Experiencing Certain Gastrointestinal Issues
While it’s common to deal with some gastrointestinal problems every once in a while it’s important to know when it’s time to schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists. It might be time for a colonoscopy if you are noticing any bowel changes that have lasted more than two weeks, or if you are dealing with,
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Trouble with bowel movements
- Dark or narrow stools
If you are noticing any of these symptoms it’s important that you don’t just ignore them. During your evaluation we can determine whether or not a colonoscopy is necessary.
Is it time to schedule your first colonoscopy? If so, call Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami today. We provide comprehensive gastrointestinal services to the Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, areas.
Getting a colonoscopy for the first time? Then you might be curious to know more about it.
No matter how healthy you are, at some point, you will need to get a colonoscopy, and our Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, and Pembroke Pines, FL gastroenterologists understand that you might have questions along the way (particularly if this is your first colonoscopy). Here are some of the most frequently answered questions about getting a colonoscopy.
Q. What is a colonoscopy?
A. A colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure in which a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end is carefully inserted into the rectum and guided through the colon so that our Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, and Pembroke Pines GI doctor can examine the large intestines for any changes or issues within the lower gastrointestinal tract.
Q. Why is a colonoscopy performed?
A. Both men and women should begin to get routine colonoscopies by the age of 50 to screen for colorectal cancer. This is the most effective tool for detecting the presence of cancer and pre-cancer.
Of course, we may also recommend getting a colonoscopy if you are dealing with intestinal symptoms that require a more in-depth evaluation to make a proper diagnosis. If you are dealing with rectal bleeding, unexpected weight loss, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling or other intestinal symptoms then a colonoscopy may be the best way to determine what’s going on.
Q. How long does a colonoscopy take?
A. The procedure itself only takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Of course, it might take longer if we have to remove colon polyps. Patients are placed under sedation so they won’t feel anything during their procedure. Some patients even fall asleep and don’t remember the procedure at all.
Q. How often should I get a routine colonoscopy?
A. Healthy individuals should get their first colonoscopy by the time they turn 50 years old. If you have risk factors for colorectal cancer then you’ll want to talk to your gastroenterologist about whether you should come in for routine colonoscopies earlier. If you don’t have any risk factors and your colonoscopy results were normal then you probably won’t need a repeat screening for 10 years; however, if colon polyps are found then you may need to get screened more regularly (about every five years).
Q. What are some risk factors associated with colorectal cancer?
A. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. ulcerative colitis; Crohn’s disease)
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Being overweight or obese
- Poor diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Heavy alcohol consumption
Do you need to schedule your first colonoscopy? Do you have questions about this or other services we offer? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the caring, knowledgeable team at Digestive Medicine Associates. We offer locations in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines and Miami, FL, to serve you better.
What your gastroenterologist wants you to know
The right time to get a colonoscopy is if you are over 50 years old, or if you have a family history of colon cancer. There are also signs and symptoms to pay attention to which may indicate the need for a colonoscopy. You should see your gastroenterologist to schedule a colonoscopy if you have:
- Rectal bleeding
- Black, tarry stools which may indicate blood in your stool
- A family history of intestinal growths or polyps
- Chronic, recurrent constipation or diarrhea
- Chronic, recurrent pain in your abdomen
A colonoscopy is the primary screening tool to determine if you have colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy also helps to diagnose colorectal cancer at an early stage, when it is more easily treatable. Don’t delay having a colonoscopy because the longer you wait, the more serious colorectal cancer becomes.
The American Cancer Society states that colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this country, with over 49,000 people dying from the disease this year alone.
A colonoscopy typically requires you to be sedated. A long, ultra-thin flexible tube is inserted into your rectum and guided up through your intestines. The tube contains a camera at one end which allows your gastroenterologist to view your colon, remove polyps or take a small sample of tissue for biopsy.
When you come in for your colonoscopy, be sure to bring a driver with you to take you home, and plan on spending 2 to 3 hours in the office. The procedure takes about 45 minutes, and additional time is required for you to recover from sedation.
Remember that early diagnosis is made possible by having a colonoscopy and that early diagnosis is critical to start early treatment. You don’t want to be a cancer statistic, so if you are over 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, take the time to schedule your colonoscopy. Protect your health by calling today!