A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of the colon for signs of cancer, polyps and other gastrointestinal problems. Healthy adults without any family history of colon cancer should schedule a colonoscopy around age 50. Adults with certain medical conditions or a family history of colon cancer may need to have a colonoscopy sooner than that. The gastroenterology experts at Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, can advise you when to schedule your first colonoscopy.
The Colonoscopy Procedure
An instrument called a colonoscope is used to perform the colonoscopy procedure. The colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a small video camera on the end. The gastroenterologist gently inserts the colonoscope into the colon through the anus. As the colonoscope is moved up along the colon, the video camera allows the gastroenterologist to examine the colon’s interior and look for suspicious areas. If polyps or other suspicious growths are observed, the colonoscope can be used to remove polyps and extract samples for biopsy.
Who Needs a Colonoscopy?
As mentioned, all healthy adults should have a colonoscopy beginning at age 50. Adult patients of all ages who have chronic gastrointestinal problems due to conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can undergo several colonoscopies at different ages, beginning as early as the twenties. Your Las Vegas and Henderson gastroenterologists at the Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada can tell you if you need a colonoscopy younger than age 50.
For healthy adults approaching 50 years of age, it is important to schedule your first colonoscopy soon. For adults with a personal or family history of gastrointestinal problems, including colon cancer, be sure to discuss with the doctor when a colonoscopy should be performed. To schedule an appointment with the Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada and your Las Vegas and Henderson, NV Gastroenterologists, call (702) 483-4483.
Find out whether your abdominal distress might mean that it’s time to schedule an appointment with us.
There are so many reasons why you could be dealing with abdominal discomfort. Perhaps it was something you ate, or maybe you find that your stomach gets upset whenever you are stressed. While you may know what’s to blame, this isn’t always the case. Here are some symptoms and scenarios that warrant a trip to one of our Henderson and Las Vegas, NV, gastroenterologists:
- If you have severe abdominal pain
- If your abdominal pain continues to get worse or lasts more than six hours
- If the pain is so bad that it prevents you from eating
- If you are also vomiting
- If you are pregnant and experiencing abdominal pain
- Pain that occurs after eating
- Pain that gets worse when moving around
- Pain that is so bad that it wakes you up at night
- Pain accompanied by vaginal bleeding
- Pain accompanied by the inability to pass gas, have a bowel movement or urinate
- Pain that is on your lower right portion of the abdomen
- Pain along with a fever over 101 degrees F
If in doubt, you should always call one of our Henderson and Las Vegas GI doctors to see whether your symptoms warrant a visit to our office.
What could be causing my abdominal pain?
This is a great question and one that’s nearly impossible to answer without first examining you and discussing your symptoms. Where the pain is located is a great indicator of what could be going on. Here are some of the common diseases and problems based on the location of your abdominal pain:
- If you have upper abdominal pain it could be due to stomach ulcers, gastritis or pancreatitis.
- If the pain is concentrated in the upper right side this could be due to problems with your liver or gallbladder.
- If pain is more on the upper left side then you may be dealing with an enlarged spleen.
When it comes to lower abdominal pain this can be particularly tricky. Common issues include ovarian cysts, ovarian inflammation or torsion, appendicitis, uterine diseases, urinary tract infection or uterine fibroids.
If you are experiencing any of the issues above the sooner you seek treatment the sooner you will experience the relief you need. Call Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada in Henderson and Las Vegas today.
What your gastroenterologists in Las Vegas want you to know
Having an endoscopy and colonoscopy is the first step in detecting serious diseases, some of which can be fatal, such as colon cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates over 95,000 cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in 2016, with over 49,000 people dying from it. In fact, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Your gastroenterologists at Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada in Las Vegas want to share the facts about endoscopies and colonoscopies.
An endoscopy uses a thin flexible tube with a camera attached. The tube is inserted through your mouth and slowly lowered to view your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Endoscopies are a vital tool to detect:
- Esophageal cancer
- Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous change in the esophagus
- Stomach cancer
- H. pylori infection of the stomach
- Hiatal hernia
A colonoscopy is similar to an endoscopy, and often the two procedures are done together under anesthesia. A colonoscopy examines the lower half of your digestive system, your large intestine. A colonoscopy is performed to detect:
- Colorectal cancer
- Precancerous tumors or polyps
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
You may also need a colonoscopy if you experience these symptoms:
- Rectal bleeding
- Changes in bowel habits or appearance in stool
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic abdominal pain
A colonoscopy is recommended if you are 50 years older, just as a routine screening for colon cancer. It is a simple procedure that takes 45 minutes, but you should plan on staying 2 to 3 hours because of the anesthesia. You should also have someone with you to drive you home.
An endoscopy and colonoscopy are an important step in managing your health, especially if you are over 50, or suffering from digestive or intestinal issues. An endoscopy and colonoscopy can detect diseases early, so your physician can treat you early to provide a better outcome. Early detection and treatment can save your life!
To find out more about endoscopy and colonoscopy benefits, call your gastroenterologists at Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada in Las Vegas. Protect your health by calling today!
Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is a cancer that develops in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum. Colon Cancer screenings have one goal: to prevent deaths from colon cancer. These tests can help to identify cancers at an early and possibly a treatable stage.
All adults over the age of 50 should undergo a colon cancer screening. There are numerous tests that are currently available, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. The test that is right for you depends upon your preferences and your disk of developing colon cancer.
Colorectal cancers usually develop from a precancerous polyp. Polyps are growths that appear from the lining of the colon. They are visible when the bowel is examined by endoscopy (colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy). The colon cancer-screening test works by detecting polyps or early stage cancers followed by removal of the malformation. Regular screenings for removing polyps can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by up to 90 percent through colonoscopy.
It is important to know the risk factors for colon cancer. Several characteristics increase the risk of colorectal cancer. They include:
- Family History of Colorectal Cancer – If an immediate family member has had colorectal cancer, your chance increases.
- Prior Colorectal Cancer of Polyps – Patients who previously had colorectal cancer have an increased risk of developing a new colorectal cancer. Especially those who had the cancer before the age of 60.
- Increasing Age – The average person has a 5 percent change of developing colon cancer, but 90 percent of these cancers occur in patients older than 50 years of age.
- Lifestyle Factors – There are several habits that can be broke to decrease the risk of developing colon cancer. These bad habits include: A diet high in fat and red meat and low in fiber, an inactive lifestyle, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and obesity.
Depending on your risk factors, there are many different types of screening tests that can be used for colorectal cancer screenings.
- Colonoscopy – allows a physician to see the lining of the rectum and the entire colon.
- Sigmoidoscopy – allows a physician to directly view the lining of the rectum and the lower part of the colon.
- CT Colonography – a test that uses a CT scanner to take images of the entire bowel.
- Stool Tests – colorectic cancers often release microscopic amounts of blood and abnormal DNA into the stool. Stool tests can reveal blood or irregular DNA makers.
- Fecal Occult Blood Test and Sigmoidoscopy – a combined screening with a fecal occult blood test and sigmoidoscopy. This screening strategy may be more effective than either test done alone.
If your family has a history of colon cancer, or you are over the age of 50, it’s time to give us a call and stay ahead of the game.
Welcome to the Blog of Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada
Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about gastroenterology and our practice.
At Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada we believe that educated patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding the health of their digestive system. Our blog was designed to provide you with the latest gastroenterology developments and valuable health advice from our dedicated team.
Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper digestive health care and treatments.
We welcome all comments and questions.
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