Posts for: December, 2014

By G.I. Specialists
December 19, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Colonoscopy  

A colonoscopy is an important screening tool our gastroenterologists utilize to determine if you are at risk for colon cancer or to identify sources of rectal pain and bleeding. This procedure involves inserting a small, thin scope with a lighted camera on its end into the rectum to visualize the rectum and colon.

This procedure is often met with many myths and misconceptions. Our Bala Cynwyd, PA colonoscopy specialists have selected the most common to debunk so you can better understand the colonoscopy process.

Myth 1: I Don’t Need a Colonoscopy If I Don’t Have Symptoms

Unfortunately, colon cancer does not often cause symptoms until the cancer is in its advanced stages. A colonoscopy can detect potentially cancerous lesions before they become cancerous. A colonoscopy detects precancerous polyps in 15 percent of women and 25 percent of men older than age 50 on an annual basis, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Myth 2: A Colonoscopy Is Painful

While it’s true that a colonoscopy can be somewhat uncomfortable, every step is taken to reduce this discomfort. This includes conscious sedation throughout the procedure where you are in a state of sleep known as twilight sleep. Many people do not even remember the colonoscopy procedure. Only an estimated 5 percent of patients report some abdominal cramping following the procedure.

Myth 3: Colon Prep Is Horrible/Embarrassing

Prior to undergoing a colonoscopy, you will be asked to drink a special liquid preparation that promotes you to empty your colon of stool. A clean colon allows our Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist to better visualize your colon. This enables the colonoscopy to be its most effective. Most of our patients report that hardest part of the colonoscopy procedure was drinking so much fluid. Our entire professional staff works to make the colonoscopy process as private and respectful as possible. You should not feel embarrassed about doing something positive for your health.

The American Cancer Society recommends most people have a colonoscopy by age 50 (those with family history or other gastrointestinal-related conditions may need to do so at an earlier age). To schedule your colonoscopy, call our Bala Cynwyd, PA office at (610) 664-9700

By G.I. Specialists
December 05, 2014
Heartburn ImageIf you suffer with heartburn then you know the discomfort you feel after eating—the gnawing feeling in your stomach, that burning pain in your chest. Heartburn is often a symptom of acid reflux, which affects over 60 million Americans. If you have been putting up with heartburn for a while now, it’s time to throw in the towel and finally relieve those symptoms. Think about it: you could actually enjoy meals again without worrying about the dreaded pain and discomfort that occurs right after. Here are some signs that it’s time to see your Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist so you can finally get the care you deserve.

1. Over-the-counter medications don’t do the trick

You’ve tried every heartburn-prevention medication on the market. You’ve exhausted your options and nothing seems to really relieve your symptoms or prevent heartburn from surfacing after each meal. If no medications seem to be working for you, it’s time to consult your gastroenterologist about other more effective treatment options. If medications aren’t controlling your symptoms, then why continue to use them? Talk to use about other ways to manage your heartburn.

2. Heartburn can cause more severe complications

The esophageal lining is sensitive, particularly to the contents in your stomach. When it’s exposed to these contents for long periods of time, it can cause ulcers, bleeding and even scarring. Over time, it can even cause a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. Chronic heartburn has also been linked to esophageal cancer. If you’ve been suffering with heartburn for an extended period of time and haven’t found a treatment that tames your symptoms, then it’s time to talk to your Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist.

3. You want to make lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce symptoms

Sure, you can do some online research to find out what foods and drinks to avoid, but every situation is different for each patient; therefore, we would be happy to sit down with you and really go through the list of things to avoid to keep symptoms away. From certain foods to proper portion sizes to even how to sleep properly for heartburn sufferers, we know all the tricks of the trade.
Don’t let heartburn control your life. Your gastroenterologist will know how to treat your symptoms and make meal times pleasurable again. Call us to schedule your next appointment.