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A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that uses a lighted, flexible colonoscope to examine the inside of the entire large intestine (colon) and rectum. A camera at the tip of the colonoscope allows your doctor to screen for polyps, cancer, and other signs of intestinal problems.
Polyps are abnormal growths on the inside lining of the intestine, and while most are not cancerous, polyps still have the potential to become cancerous. If polyps are found during your procedure, your doctor can perform a biopsy immediately.
A biopsy involves passing an instrument through the scope to remove the polyp. You should feel nothing when a biopsy or polyp is taken, and you should experience no recovery pain. While the overwhelming majority of polyps are harmless, your physician will have it analyzed and confirm your results with you.
According to the American Cancer Society, the most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened for colorectal cancer routinely, beginning at age 45. If you have a family history of polyps or colon cancer, your doctor may advise you to get screened before age 45. Be sure to consult with your physician to make sure you're eligible for early screening.
A colonoscopy is a safe and effective procedure to screen for colon cancer and to treat colon polyps. Since most colon cancer starts as a benign polyp, removing polyps removes the possibility of them growing into cancer.
Colonoscopies help examine other problems from which a patient may be suffering, such as blood loss, abdominal or rectal pain, changes in bowel habits, or active bleeding from the bowel.
It's rare for serious complications to occur in a colonoscopy. But as with any procedure, complications are possible. These might include excessive bleeding, especially if a large polyp is removed, or a tear in the lining of the colon, which might require hospitalization or surgery.
Before your scheduled colonoscopy, you will be given specific prep instructions that you must follow. Failure to properly complete the prep will likely result in the inability to complete your test.
These instructions include a special diet the day before the procedure and specifics regarding medication. Additionally, if you take any blood-thinning medication, your physician may request that you stop using for 3-5 days before the test.
The entire procedure usually takes 30-45 minutes. You will receive sedation from anesthesiology on the day of your colonoscopy to keep you comfortable. During the procedure, you will lie on your left side on an examining table, and the physician will insert the colonoscope into the rectum and gently pass it through the colon. The colonoscope is equipped with several tiny instruments to aid the physician during the procedure. One slightly inflates the colon to help the physician see the entire colon, another to remove polyps or take biopsies, and a third to stop any bleeding that may occur.
You may experience slight discomfort immediately following a colonoscopy, similar to feeling bloated or having gas, but that feeling subsides quickly. Most patients resume their regular diets later that day. A colonoscopy generally requires some anesthesia, which may make patients feel a bit woozy. Under these circumstances, patients are required to have a licensed driver take them back home. Taxis or other forms of hired transportation are not allowed.
Enteroscopy is a procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube, attached with a camera, called an enteroscope, to examine the small bowel. There are three types of techniques a physician can use to perform an enteroscopy:
The types of enteroscopy are upper and lower. In an upper enteroscopy, the endoscope is inserted into the mouth. In a lower enteroscopy, the endoscope is inserted into the rectum. The type of enteroscopy performed will depend on the type of problem the doctor is trying to diagnose, but your doctor will let you know in advance which type you need.
Enteroscopy is an accurate way of looking at the lining of your small bowel, to establish whether there is any disease present without making an incision. This test also allows us to take tissue samples (biopsy) for analysis by the pathology department if necessary.
Your doctor may recommend enteroscopy if you have any of the following:
It’s rare for serious complications to occur in an enteroscopy. But as with any procedure, complications are possible. Depending on the type of enteroscopy, these complications might include perforation, bleeding, and pancreatitis.
Before your scheduled enteroscopy, you will be given specific prep instructions that you must follow. Failure to properly complete the prep will likely result in the inability to complete your test.
These instructions will depend on the type of enteroscopy you receive. Instructions may include fasting, diet and medication restrictions, and bowel preparation to clear out the colon.
The procedure usually takes between 45 minutes and two hours. Depending on the procedure, you will either receive sedation or medication to help you relax. During the procedure, the doctor will use an enteroscope to visualize and record images of your intestinal lining. During the investigation, your doctor may need to take some samples from the lining of your small bowel for analysis. Biopsies should not cause any pain.
ERCP, or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, is a test that combines the use of a flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) with X-ray pictures to examine the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth and gently moved down the throat into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum until it reaches the point where the ducts from the pancreas (pancreatic ducts) and gallbladder (bile ducts) drain into the duodenum.
ERCP is useful procedure to find the cause of unexplained abdominal pain or yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). It may be used to get more information if you have pancreatitis or cancer of the liver, pancreas, or bile ducts.
Other symptoms that may require an ERCP test include:
As with any procedure, some complications may occur. These complications include pancreatitis, infection, bleeding, and perforation.
Before your scheduled ERCP, you will be given specific instructions that you must follow. Failure to properly complete the prep will likely result in the inability to complete your test. These instructions include diet and medication restriction in the days leading up to the procedure.
The entire procedure usually takes between one and two hours. You will receive sedation on the day of your ERCP to keep you comfortable. The doctor will feed the endoscope down your esophagus, through your stomach, and into your duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope will send a video image to a monitor. The doctor will then inject a special dye into the ducts through the catheter to make the ducts more visible on x-rays. During the procedure, your doctor will look for narrow areas or blockages, and also may perform biopsies, sphincterotomy, gallstone(s) removal, or stent replacement.
Patients are required to have a licensed driver take them back home.
ERCP, or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, is a test that combines the use of a flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) with X-ray pictures to examine the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth and gently moved down the throat into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum until it Flexible sigmoidoscopy is the visual examination of the inside of the rectum and sigmoid colon. During this procedure, only the end of the colon, typically the last one or two feet, is examined.
The procedure is performed using an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube equipped with a tiny camera that allows the physician to view any affected regions of your gastrointestinal tract and make a much more accurate diagnosis.reaches the point where the ducts from the pancreas (pancreatic ducts) and gallbladder (bile ducts) drain into the duodenum.
A flexible sigmoidoscopy may be performed to diagnose the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain, or abnormal X-ray results. Starting at age 50, a flexible sigmoidoscopy may also be performed on a patient without any symptoms to screen for colon cancer and polyps.
Serious side effects from this procedure are uncommon, but some may include tears in the wall of the colon, which would require surgery, or bleeding if a large polyp is removed. Your physician will address any concerns you may have prior to the procedure.
You will be given specific instructions to prepare for your flexible sigmoidoscopy.
These instructions will include a special diet the day before the procedure and specifics regarding medication. A clear liquid diet is usually the designated diet before a colonoscopy. Laxatives or an enema may also be necessary before the procedure to clean the bowel.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is well tolerated and rarely causes much discomfort. The procedure usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Your physician will ask you to lie on your left side while the scope is advanced slowly though the lower portion of the colon. You may feel slight discomfort, similar to bloating or having gas, but this will soon subside. The scope is then slowly withdrawn, and the lining of the intestine is examined. If the scope shows something abnormal the physician may take a biopsy. Remember that biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily mean cancer is expected.
You may experience bloating or bowel distensions following the procedure, but this usually lasts no longer than 60 minutes.
Hemorrhoid banding, or hemorrhoid ligation, is a procedure to remove hemorrhoids by putting tight bands around the swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus. The procedure, also known as the CRH O’Regan System, uses disposable bands that cut off the blood supply to hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoid banding is useful in treating problems associated with hemorrhoids, such as bleeding, fecal soiling, and ongoing pain and discomfort.
This procedure offers patients a permanent and painless solution to the discomfort and recovery time associated with other removal options. Much less invasive than hemorrhoidectomy surgery, hemorrhoid banding is a simple process that can be performed in a doctor’s office in just minutes with little discomfort and most patients returning to work the same day. Serious complications from this procedure are uncommon. Some side effects may include urine hesitancy, slight bleeding, or slight discomfort. Your physician will address any concerns you may have prior to the procedure.
During the hemorrhoid banding procedure, your doctor will place a small rubber band over the hemorrhoid. There are usually three banding sessions required at two-week intervals. It is a safe and painless procedure in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at the base, cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink and fall off in 3-7 days. Most patients require three treatments, each done at a brief office visit.
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