The most common procedures performed by our gastroenterologists are colonoscopy and gastroscopy.
A colonoscopy enables your physician to examine the lining of the colon for abnormalities. In patients with no gastrointestinal problems and no risk factors for colon cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends a first screening colonoscopy at age 50. However, if you have bowel symptoms such as blood in your stool or a significant change in your bowel movements or their frequency, you should see a doctor right away.
If you have any risk factors for colon cancer such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or a family history of colon cancer, your doctor may want to order the colonoscopy long before you turn 50. If a member of your immediate family, such as a sibling or a parent has had colon cancer, you should begin screening at least 10 years before the age your relative was when he/she was diagnosed. The frequency of colonoscopy is determined based on your risk factors and whether or not you have polyps on your colonoscopy. In the average risk patient with a normal colonoscopy the test is repeated every 5-10 years. Ask your doctor today if you are a candidate for screening colonoscopy.
Gastroscopy is an examination of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small bowel). A gastroscopy can help find out what is causing symptoms such as indigestion, upper abdominal pain, vomiting or bleeding. It is also used to check for certain gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammation, ulcers and early signs of cancer. Sometimes, a gastroscopy is used to confirm the results of other tests – a barium meal, for example. During the procedure, your doctor may take one or more biopsies (small samples of tissue) for examination in a laboratory. Once the procedure is completed, your doctor will discuss the findings with you and make any necessary recommendations.
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