Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for tag: Colonoscopy

By Digestive Medicine Associates
May 10, 2021
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is on the rise, particularly in young adults. While this is alarming, it is important to know that your gastroenterologist has an effective way to prevent and even detect colorectal cancer early on. A colonoscopy can be used as both a diagnostic tool and as a treatment for the removal of colon polyps and other issues. All people will eventually need a colonoscopy regardless of age or gender. Here are the reasons why your gastroenterologist may recommend getting a colonoscopy,

You’re Experiencing Digestive Issues

This is a common reason why a colonoscopy is performed. It’s not always possible to figure out the cause of rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other intestinal issues unless a GI doctor takes a look inside. If your issues can’t be diagnosed with a simple physical examination, blood test, or stool sample, then a colonoscopy is probably the best way to find out what’s going on.

You Need to Be Screened for Colorectal Cancer

If you are 50 years old or older and are at average risk for colon cancer, then your gastroenterologist will often advise you to get a colonoscopy about every 10 years to screen for cancer. Those with an increased risk of developing colon cancer may need to get screened more regularly. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include,
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Personal history of colon polyps
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • An unhealthy diet that is high in fat and processed foods
  • Leading an inactive lifestyle
We Need to Check for and Remove Colon Polyps

It’s necessary to remove polyps right away to reduce your chances of developing colon cancer. Colon polyps can be easily removed during a routine colonoscopy, but since it can increase your risk for colorectal cancer your gastroenterologist may recommend having a colonoscopy more regularly.

If you just turned 50 years old and it’s time to schedule your routine colonoscopy, or if you’re dealing with digestive issues, a gastroenterologist is the ideal medical specialist to turn to. Don’t wait to get the preventive care you need to protect against colorectal cancer.
By Digestive Medicine Associates
March 19, 2021
Category: Digestive Health
Tags: Colonoscopy  

A colonoscopy from your gastroenterologists in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, and Miami, FL, can protect your health.

Have you had a colonoscopy? No one really talks much about a colonoscopy, but the truth is, this simple procedure can save your life. A colonoscopy is the most effective way to detect colon cancer, which is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in this country.

The doctors at Digestive Medicine Associates offer a wide range of gastroenterology services, including colonoscopy procedures to protect your health. They have convenient office locations in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, and Miami, FL.

You should have a colonoscopy if you are:

  • 50 years or older
  • Experiencing chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Having pain in your abdomen that doesn’t go away
  • Experiencing rectal bleeding
  • Having tarry or black stools

A colonoscopy uses a thin, flexible tube that has a camera on one end. The tube is inserted in the rectum and guided up through your colon. During your procedure, your gastroenterologist can view the walls of your colon, looking for polyps or abnormal tissue.

The colonoscope allows your doctor to remove small samples of tissue, which may be biopsied to determine if the tissue is precancerous or cancerous. A colonoscopy takes about 45 minutes, and you will be sedated throughout the procedure. You should plan on a recovery period in the office of 2 to 3 hours, and you must bring a driver with you to help you get home.

A colonoscopy can save your life and help prevent colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 49,000 people die each year from colon cancer. You don’t want to be one of them, and having a colonoscopy can help.

To find out more about how a colonoscopy can benefit you, ask the doctors at Digestive Medicine Associates by calling (305) 822-4107. You can visit them at one of four office locations in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, and Miami, FL, so call today!

By Digestive Medicine Associates
July 31, 2020
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy  
ColonoscopyPerhaps you’ve heard the news reports saying that everyone should get a colonoscopy after a certain age. Maybe you even remember when Katie Couric of the Today Show got a colonoscopy. This procedure gets a bad rap, but the benefits far outweigh the potential unpleasantness of the procedure itself or even the prep. Screening for colorectal cancer is so important for all men and women, and yet so many people still don’t see a gastroenterologist regularly for screenings. This screening, which usually takes no more than 30 minutes, could just save your life.

You may benefit from a colonoscopy if:
  • You are a man or woman over the age of 50 (those over 50 years old are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer)
  • You have a family history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps
  • You have a personal history of cancer or colon polyps
  • You’ve been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
  • You are experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer such as blood in the stool and unexpected weight loss
  • You are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms such as rectal bleeding and abdominal pain (a colonoscopy can diagnose certain intestinal problems)
Healthy individuals at moderate risk for colorectal cancer should start getting screened by 50 years old (yes, women too!). While men are more at risk for colorectal cancer, women can also get this form of cancer and should make getting screened an important part of their preventive healthcare.

You will be placed under conscious sedation while undergoing a colonoscopy, so you will most likely not remember any part of your procedure. During the procedure, your gastroenterologist will carefully place a colonoscope, a thin tube with a camera at the end, into the rectum, and guide it into the large intestines (aka the colon). This procedure allows your doctor to be able to examine the lining of the intestines to look for polyps, bleeds, ulcers, or other issues you may be dealing with. If polyps are found, they can be removed during your colonoscopy.

While age, ethnicity, and gender can play a role in your colorectal cancer risk level, there are other factors as well; however, these factors can be altered by simply improving your lifestyle. These factors include:
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Eating a poor diet that is high in processed foods
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
If the results of your colonoscopy are normal then you probably won’t need another one for about 10 years; however, those at an increased risk for colorectal cancer may want to get screened before age 50 and consider getting screened more regularly. This is something that you should discuss with your doctor. 
By Digestive Medicine Associates
June 19, 2020
Category: GI Procedure
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Find out when a colonoscopy is performed and how it can protect against colorectal cancer.

Chances are you’ve heard about colonoscopies. After all, it’s a common procedure that is most often performed on older adults to screen for colorectal cancer. It’s the number one tool that our Miami gastroenterologists have at their disposal to be able to catch colorectal issues early on. Here are the top reasons why you may need a colonoscopy,

You just turned 50

Happy Birthday to you! One present you probably didn’t expect to get was a routine colonoscopy. While it probably won’t be the most exciting present that you receive it may be one of the most valuable. After all, a colonoscopy can detect colorectal cancer early and also remove colon polyps to prevent colorectal cancer. Since the risk for colorectal cancer increases with age it’s important that men and women start seeing their Miami GI doctor at least once every 10 years for a routine colonoscopy.

You have a family history of colorectal cancer

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer then you may want to speak with your doctor about whether or not you should start getting screened before 50 years old. Since colorectal cancer has genetic risk factors it’s important that you get screened as soon as possible. It’s recommended that you get your first screening about 10 years before your family member was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but speak with your doctor to find out when to start getting tested.

You have symptoms of colorectal cancer

While many of the symptoms associated with colorectal cancer are often caused by other less worrisome problems it’s still important for our doctor to be able to find out right away what’s causing your symptoms. You should come in for an evaluation if you are experiencing these symptoms,

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bowel changes
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Fatigue

Most people won’t experience symptoms until the later stages of colorectal cancer, which is why screenings are still important even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.

You are dealing with stomach problems

Dealing with persistent diarrhea? Experiencing painful stomach cramps that don’t seem to be going away? If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms for days or even weeks at a time it’s important that you see a gastroenterologist here in Miami who can determine whether a colonoscopy may help with a diagnosis. Along with colon polyps, colonoscopies can be used to detect intestinal bleeding, ulcers, inflammation within the lining and other problems that could be to blame.

If you are experiencing unusual GI symptoms, know that you can see one of our gastroenterologists in person or through a simple telehealth visit. We have offices in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines and Miami, FL. If you need to schedule a routine colonoscopy with us, then call Digestive Medicine Associates at (305) 822-4107.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
October 03, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: 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.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
September 10, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Delaying a colonoscopy could put your health in great jeopardy—are you overdue for this diagnostic procedure? Here at Digestive ColonoscopyMedicine 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.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
June 24, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

ColonoscopyWhile 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.

Contact Us

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.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
April 16, 2019
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy   Colon Cancer  

One of the most effective screening methods for detecting the earliest signs of colorectal cancer is through a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy allows a coloncancergastroenterologist 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.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
December 26, 2018
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy  

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 orColonoscopy Scheduling 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:

  • Smoking
  • 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.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
July 06, 2018
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Getting a colonoscopy for the first time? Then you might be curious to know more about it.colonoscopy

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
  • Smoking
  • 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.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
April 13, 2018
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy  

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!