A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the colon using a long, flexible, lighted tube. Among its other applications in treating colon disorders, a colonoscopy is the most effective way to screen for colon cancer.
What kind of doctor should perform my colonoscopy?
Gastroenterologists are highly trained specialists in performing colonoscopies. Colonoscopies performed by a gastroenterologist had a 65% reduction in risk for colorectal cancer mortality (death), compared with 57% when performed by a primary care provider and 45% when performed by a surgeon. (These results are from a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine “Journal Watch.”)
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. But early detection through colonoscopy can reduce your risk of developing the disease by 90%. The colonoscopy is especially effective in that it both screens for and prevents colon cancer through removal of pre-cancerous polyps. Polyps are found in about one out of three patients and are extracted painlessly.
Ideally, you should begin screenings at age 50, or earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer. In most cases, another test won’t be required for seven to 10 years.
Generally, preparation involves going on a clear-liquid diet for a day or so, and taking a purgative. The colonoscopy itself takes 15 to 30 minutes during which time a sedative and pain medicine should keep you from feeling discomfort. You will need to remain at the Center for an hour or two and must arrange for someone to drive you home.
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Patient Guide to Colonoscopy Costs
Examines the upper GI tract to determine the source of swallowing problems, abdominal discomfort, reflux or intestinal bleeding.
A complex procedure, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is performed for the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of many disorders of the bile ducts and pancreas. This procedure is done principally at the hospital in a specialized unit under anesthesia. Physicians in our practice performing ERCP are specially trained and experienced.
Used to determine the cause of abdominal pain, evaluate growths, or diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts and gall bladder when other tests are inconclusive.
Patients ingest a tiny camera in a pill that transmits detailed images of the small intestine.
By measuring the contractions of the esophagus, this test helps diagnose and evaluate reflux disease (GERD), chest pain and other disorders.
Using a special needle, a physician examines a small piece of liver tissue for signs of damage or disease
Feeding Tube Placements
For patients who are unable to swallow.
24-Hour Bravo pH Study
Monitors the amount of stomach acid causing heartburn. A tiny capsule gives data to a pager worn for 24 hours.