Posts for category: Colonoscopy
When it comes to colon cancer, the most reliable and preferred way of screening remains the colonoscopy. Here at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, your eight board-certified physicians highly recommend colonoscopies beginning at age 50. Read on to learn more here about colon cancer and how this important test could end up saving your life.
Some details on colon cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, colon cancer is the third most common cancer among American adults today. Affecting the ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colon (bowel) as well as the rectum, colorectal cancer typically begins with the development of non-cancerous polyps.
These small broccoli-like growths are located in the interior walls of the bowel. While most polyps are benign, some turn out to be pre-cancerous adenomas which eventually evolve into cancer if not removed.
Fortunately, with careful screening tests, early detection rates are high, which means a high cure rate as well. Accordingly, our Troy doctors advise in-office colonoscopies to look for cancers and to evaluate patients with complaints of chronic diarrhea or episodes of bleeding.
How colonoscopies work
The procedure begins with preparation, a process that involves the consumption of laxatives and a clear liquid diet the day before the colonoscopy. Then, day of the test, the patient fasts from all food and drinks after midnight.
The test itself takes about 30 to 40 minutes, during which most patients are given tranquilizers to relax them. Once the patient is properly sedated, the gastroenterologist inserts a thin, flexible tube into the anus and up through the bowels.
The tube causes no discomfort, and as it is equipped with a tiny camera and light, the doctor uses it to closely examine the interior walls of the colon. At this point, any small polyps can also be removed for analysis by biopsy.
Following the procedure, the patient spends some time in a comfortable recovery area. The physician then reviews the test results with the patient, after which an adult relative or friend drives the individual home. Biopsy results are available within a few days.
Find out more
Are you approaching the age of 50, or is it time again for your routine colon cancer screening? If so, please call Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, for an appointment. You'll be comfortable and well-cared for in our state of the art facility. Phone (248) 273-9930 today!
Find out more about colon polyps and what it means if you have them.
Has one of our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists just found colon polyps during your routine colonoscopy? If so, you may be wondering what these masses are, why they occur and if this could put you at an increased risk for colorectal cancer. We have the answers you are looking for.
What are colon polyps?
A polyp is typically a benign growth that develops in the lining of the rectum or colon. They can vary in size and are often found in the colon. Polyps are very common in adults, particularly older adults. In fact, an average 60-year-old who doesn’t have any risk factors still has a 25 percent chance of developing polyps. While some polyps can be cancerous, most are harmless.
What can increase my risk for colon polyps?
Older age is the most common risk factor for polyps. If there is a history of colon polyps or colon cancer in your family then you may also be more likely to develop polyps. Other risk factors include:
- Being obese or overweight
- Having diabetes
- Smoking or using tobacco products
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
Do polyps cause symptoms?
Most polyps do not cause any symptoms; however, if the polyp is large enough it could cause blood in the stools or rectal bleeding. Sometimes a sigmoidoscopy, which allows our Troy, MI, GI specialist to look at the lower section of the colon, can detect the presence of a polyp. In this case, our doctor will recommend a colonoscopy to have the polyp removed. While there are other screening tools available for detecting polyps, the most accurate tool is a colonoscopy.
How is a polyp removed?
If we find polyps during your colonoscopy we can easily remove them at the same time as your procedure. There are several ways in which your doctor can remove a polyp. The most common method is a wire loop biopsy or through a polyp resection (burning the polyp with an electrical current). Since the lining of the bowels is not sensitive, these methods will not cause discomfort. Sometimes a laboratory will examine the removed polyp to look for cancerous cells.
Are you dealing with blood in your stool? Is it time to schedule a routine colonoscopy? Your gastroenterology specialists in Troy, MI, is here to provide you with the comprehensive care you need to maintain good digestive health or answer any questions you have about gastroenterology.
Find out why everyone over the age of 50 should get a routine colonoscopy.
No matter whether one of our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists have just told you that you need to get a colonoscopy or someone you know is undergoing this procedure, it’s natural to want to learn more about it, why it’s performed and what to expect. We want to keep our patients informed about the treatments and procedures they undergo here at Gastrointestinal Specialists. Here’s what you should know about colonoscopies,
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic and screening tool that allows us to thoroughly examine the colon and lower digestive tract. During a colonoscopy, a thin flexible tube, known as an endoscope, is inserted into the rectum. At the end of the endoscope is a camera, which allows our Troy, MI, gastroenterologist to be able to check the lining and health of the lower gastrointestinal tract to look for warning signs of colorectal cancer and other conditions.
Why is a colonoscopy performed?
Men and women over the age of 50 should start getting routine colonoscopies, even if they aren’t experiencing symptoms because this is the best screening tool for colorectal cancer. Even if you don’t have risk factors for cancer, it’s still important that you get screened. If results come back normal, then it’s likely that you won’t have to get a repeat colonoscopy for another 10 years.
Of course, if you are dealing with any changes in bowel movements, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or other symptoms that may be indicative of irritable bowel disorder, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease, then we may recommend getting a colonoscopy to determine the source of your symptoms.
How do I prep for a colonoscopy?
Your colon will need to be completely clear in order for us to perform a colonoscopy and to get the results we need. Therefore, we will provide you with specific instructions on food and drink prior to your colonoscopy. You will need to avoid solid foods for a day before your colonoscopy. We will also give you a colonoscopy prep for you to drink, and this prep will clean out the colon. On the day of the colonoscopy, you should avoid all food but you may drink water or consume other liquids beforehand.
What should I expect from the procedure?
A colonoscopy is a fairly quick procedure, usually taking around 20-30 minutes. If our Troy, MI, GI doctor does find polyps, we will remove them during your colonoscopy, which can lengthen the procedure. During the colonoscopy, you will be under the effects of conscious sedation, which means that you will be able to respond to the doctor if necessary, but you won’t remember the procedure or feel any discomfort.
Is it time to schedule your first routine colonoscopy? Dealing with abdominal discomfort, bleeding, or other gastrointestinal problems? If so, call (248) 273-9930 to schedule an appointment at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, today!
Are you wondering whether or not it’s time to schedule a routine colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is something that every man and woman after a certain age should get as part of their preventive care. After all, a colonoscopy is the best and most accurate way to detect colorectal cancer during its earliest stages, when it’s most treatable. Since colorectal cancer is the third leading type of cancer in both men and women in the US (according to the American Cancer Society), it’s important to understand when to turn to our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists for a colonoscopy.
Did you just turn 50 years old? If so, then it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy. Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms or changes in the GI tract, you still need to get a colonoscopy. Of course, if you are noticing recurring symptoms such as abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhea, or blood in the stool, you should visit your Troy, MI, GI doctor as soon as possible. To determine the cause of your symptoms, we may need to perform a colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a screening and diagnostic tool that allows us to be able to get a clear and detailed picture of your large intestines. During this procedure, a small flexible tube with a camera is carefully inserted into the rectum and guided through the colon. This camera allows us to check for cancerous polyps, which we may be able to remove during the colonoscopy. If you are experiencing symptoms, a colonoscopy will allow us to look for the source of your issues, from internal hemorrhoids to ulcers.
Why is a colonoscopy so important?
This procedure is important for a number of reasons, depending on its purpose. For one, it’s an amazing tool to diagnose the cause of unexplained abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, and other gastrointestinal problems. A colonoscopy can also help us pinpoint the earliest signs of colon cancer so that we can treat it right away when there is less of a chance of it spreading.
Healthy men and women in their 50s should start getting routine colonoscopies. If you are at an increased risk for colon cancer, talk to us about whether it’s prudent to start getting screened earlier. If your first colonoscopy comes back normal and you are low-risk, you may not need another routine colonoscopy for a decade.
Contact Us Today!
Gastrointestinal Specialists PC in Troy, MI, is dedicated to providing you with a full range of services to diagnose or treat conditions of the gastrointestinal system, as well as the liver and pancreas. If it’s time to schedule a routine colonoscopy, call our office today at (248) 273-9930!
If your doctor suggests a colonoscopy, you may not understand what exactly this crucial procedure entails. However, learning more about the step-by-step process and what you can expect during your treatment can help you feel more prepared and relaxed before you go in for your colonoscopy. Find out more about colonoscopy, when it is necessary, and what it means for you with Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure which examines the inner lining of the colon to search for abnormalities such as pre-cancerous polyps. A long, thin tube with a camera on the end called a colonoscope is inserted through the rectum and advanced through the colon until it reaches the end of the large intestine. The procedure also allows your doctor to thread miniature instruments through the colonoscope to take biopsies or remove polyps.
Do I need a colonoscopy?
Doctors recommend having regular colonoscopies at least once every 10 years beginning at age 50. If you have a family or personal history of colon cancer, you will probably require more frequent colonoscopies. Those with a history of gastroenterological problems are more at-risk for colon cancer and may also need more frequent colonoscopies. Your doctor may also recommend colonoscopy if you have significant changes in your stool, unexplained weight loss, or other issues.
What can I expect from a colonoscopy procedure?
You will be asleep during the procedure. Your doctor will insert the colonoscope and begin advancing it through the large intestine. If they see a polyp, they may remove or biopsy it. Before your procedure, your doctor will prescribe you a laxative and ask you to fast. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully as straying from them could cause complications with the colonoscopy procedure. After your procedure, you will likely feel a bit woozy from the anesthesia and need someone to drive you home.
Colonoscopy in Troy, MI
If you are over the age of 50, are at risk for gastrointestinal issues or colon cancer, or feel as though a colonoscopy could benefit you, you should consult with your doctor to ensure that this is the best course of treatment for you. For more information on colonoscopies or what to expect during your procedure, please contact your gastroenterologist at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI. Call (248) 273-9930 to schedule your appointment for a colonoscopy today!
When you are otherwise healthy, it can be difficult to determine the cause of such symptoms as unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea or blood in your stool. If you are experiencing any of these unexplained symptoms, a gastroenterologist can conduct an exam called a flexible sigmoidoscopy to diagnose the problem. At Gastrointestinal Specialists PC, your gastroenterologists in Troy, MI can use this exam to check your colon for signs of polyps or even cancer.
What is Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an exam performed by gastroenterologists to examine the colon or lower portion of the large intestine. The purpose of the exam is to check for polyps or signs of cancer and it tends to be a quicker procedure than a full colonoscopy. To perform a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a flexible tube called a sigmoidoscope is placed inside the rectum and part of the large intestine. A small video camera positioned at the tip of the sigmoidoscope allows the gastroenterologist to view the interior of the large intestine.
The gastroenterologist can take tissue samples for biopsy if anything unusual is observed during the flexible sigmoidoscopy. As mentioned, the exam is limited to just the lowest portion of the large intestine. If polyps or other abnormalities are found during the exam, your doctor might recommend a follow-up colonoscopy to examine the entire colon. Your experienced gastroenterologist in Troy can advise you if a flexible sigmoidoscopy alone is sufficient to adequately evaluate the health of your colon.
Who Needs a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy can be used as a screening method to check for signs of colon polyps, colon cancer or rectal cancer. Patients over 50 should be periodically screened for colon and rectal cancer. Screening at a younger age is recommended for patients with a family history of color or rectal cancer and for patients with a history of Crohn’s disease, IBD or ulcerative colitis. Additionally, patients experiencing certain unexplained symptoms might benefit from a flexible sigmoidoscopy. These symptoms include:
- Sudden Weight Loss (with no clear cause)
- Abdominal Pain
- Unusual Bowel Activity
- Bleeding from the Anus
A gastroenterologist can advise you if a flexible sigmoidoscopy is needed at this time, as well as help you determine your risk for developing colon polyps or colorectal cancer. To schedule a consultation with a gastroenterologist in Troy, MI, contact the Gastrointestinal Specialists PC at (248) 273-9930.
Not sure when you should start having colonoscopies? Your Troy, MI gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, share information about this important test and explain when you should have your first colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that gives your doctor an up-close view of your colon and the lower section of the small intestine. You'll receive anesthesia prior to the procedure and won't feel a thing. During the test, a thin, flexible scope is inserted into your anus. A digital miniature camera attached to the end of the scope transmits images to a monitor, giving your doctor a perfect view of your intestines. As the scope is inserted and retracted, your doctor looks for signs of polyps, lesions or other abnormalities.
When should I get a colonoscopy?
Most people should start receiving colonoscopies at age 50. Fifty is the recommended starting age because your colon cancer risk increases with age. Your gastroenterologist may recommend that you undergo a colonoscopy earlier if you have gastrointestinal issues.
Why is it so important that I receive a colonoscopy?
Colon cancer often doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms until the cancer is very advanced. Although colon cancer is very treatable during the early stages, advanced cancer is much harder to treat. Polyps in your colon can be a warning sign. Unfortunately, if you don't get a colonoscopy, you'll never know that you have them. Many polyps aren't cancerous initially but can become cancerous if they remain in your colon. During a colonoscopy, your doctor removes any polyps he spots and sends them to a laboratory to be tested for cancer.
Are there other reasons that colonoscopies are performed?
Colonoscopies are also used to help your doctor determine why you have chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, frequent constipation, unexplained weight loss, anemia or changes in your bowel movements or habits.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy in Troy?
You'll take laxatives as recommended by your doctor to prepare for your colonoscopy. Although this step can be a little unpleasant, it's absolutely necessary to ensure that your doctor has a clear view of your colon and small intestine.
Is it time for your first colonoscopy? Call your Troy, MI gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, at (248) 273-9930 to schedule an appointment to discuss this important procedure. Protect your colon health with a colonoscopy!
Stomach pain makes it difficult to do the things you enjoy. Although over-the-counter remedies can be helpful in treating pain, sometimes these medications are strong enough to handle your symptoms. Your gastroenterologists, at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC in Troy, MI, share information on symptoms and treatments for several stomach ailments, including ulcerative colitis.
Nearly everyone suffers from indigestion at some point in their lives. When pain, burning and a feeling of fullness strike during or after a meal, an over-the-counter antacid medication can help ease symptoms. Your gastroenterologist may also suggest medications that help reduce stomach acids, such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 receptor antagonists.
Gastritis causes abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, indigestion and other unpleasant symptoms. Bacterial and viral infections can cause gastritis, as can stress, medication side effects or drinking large amounts of alcohol. If your gastritis is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists can also help treat gastritis.
Small pouches form in the lining of your digestive tract when you have diverticulosis. If those pouches become inflamed or infected, you may experience abdominal pain, tenderness, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Oral antibiotics are usually very effective in treating infections, although surgery may be needed in severe cases.
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can cause sores in your rectum and large intestine. If you have this disease, you may experience abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, rectal bleeding or pain, fever, weight loss, changes in bowel habits and fatigue.
Anti-diarrheal medications can help relieve severe diarrhea while acetaminophen is recommended for pain relief, as other common pain relievers, such as naproxen sodium or ibuprofen, can make your symptoms worse. Prescription anti-inflammatory medications help reduce pain and other symptoms caused by inflammation. Remicade, a medication that stops the immune system from producing too much TNF-alpha protein, is effective in slowing or stopping damage from the disease and may even lead to a remission. In severe cases, ulcerative colitis can be life-threatening. In these cases, surgery to remove the colon and rectum may be needed.
Do you suffer from ulcerative colitis or another painful stomach condition or disease? Find out how a gastroenterologist can help you by calling your Troy gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, at (248) 273-9930.
Colorectal cancer affects nearly 150,000 new patients a year. However, this common and life-threatening disease is highly preventable. A colonoscopy can detect colorectal cancer long before symptoms present themselves. This makes this procedure incredibly important, especially for people who are over the age of 50. Get more information on colonoscopies with help from your Troy, MI doctors at Gastrointestinal Specialists.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure which allows doctors to visually see the lining of the rectum and colon. The procedure is performed using a colonoscope, a long, thin tube with a camera attached to the end. Doctors use colonoscopy procedures as a preventative measure for cancer as it can detect the presence of precancerous growths called polyps. A colonoscopy can also investigate the warning signs of gastrointestinal issues.
When is a colonoscopy recommended?
It is recommended that men and women over age 50 who are at average risk for developing cancer undergo a colonoscopy test at least every 10 years. This allows doctors to find and remove precancerous polyps, which could prevent colorectal cancer altogether. At-risk patients might need a colonoscopy more often. Symptoms of gastrointestinal irritation like rectal bleeding, sudden or unexplained weight loss, chronic diarrhea, constipation or irregular stools often require a colonoscopy to allow your doctor to find the root cause of the problem. Additionally, treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and investigation into the cause of an abnormal MRI or CT scan also call for a colonoscopy.
What can I expect during a colonoscopy procedure?
Before a colonoscopy, your doctor will require you to perform a colon cleanse which consists of drinking a special solution and maintaining a clear liquid diet. This lasts one to two days and empties the colon for the test. The day of your test, your doctor will give you a sedation medication to help you relax. You may fall asleep during the procedure. Your doctor inserts the colonoscope into the anus and moves it through the rectum and colon. Air is used to inflate the colon so your doctor can see its lining properly. If necessary, tiny tools threaded through the colonoscope help your doctor biopsy the tissue or remove polyps. After the test, you will recover for about an hour. Due to the medications, someone will need to drive you home after the procedure. You may then return to your normal diet.
For more information on gastrointestinal issues or colonoscopies, please contact your doctor at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI. Call (248) 273-9930 to speak with an associate about scheduling your appointment for a colonoscopy today!