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15/Oct/2019

A colonoscopy (koh-luh-NAH-skuh-pee) allows a doctor to look inside the entire large intestine. The procedure enables the physician to see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. It is most often used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It is also used to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits and to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.

What is the colon?

The colon, or large bowel, is the last portion of your digestive tract, or gastrointestinal tract. The colon is a hollow tube that starts at the end of the small intestine and ends at the rectum and anus. The colon is about 5 feet long, and its main function is to store unabsorbed food waste and absorb water and other body fluids before the waste is eliminated as stool.

Why colonoscopy is recommended?
Colonoscopy is often used to find the source of gastrointestinal problems or screen for colon cancer. Screening colonoscopy is recommended at age 50 because more than 90 percent of people who develop the cancer are 50 or older, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. If you have had colon cancer in the past or at high risk of developing it, your gastroenterologist may recommend that you have your first colonoscopy before age 50.

Preparation

You will be given instructions in advance that will explain what you need to do to prepare for your colonoscopy. Your colon must be completely empty for the colonoscopy to be thorough and safe. To prepare for the procedure you will have to follow a liquid diet for 1 to 3 days beforehand. The liquid diet should be clear and not contain food colorings, and may include

  • fat-free bouillon or broth
  • strained fruit juice
  • water
  • plain coffee
  • plain tea
  • diet soda
  • gelatin

Thorough cleansing of the bowel is necessary before a colonoscopy. You will likely be asked to take a laxative the night before the procedure. In some cases you may be asked to give yourself an enema. An enema is performed by inserting a bottle with water and sometimes a mild soap in your anus to clean out the bowels. Be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have or medications you take on a regular basis such as

  • aspirin
  • arthritis medications
  • blood thinners
  • diabetes medication
  • vitamins that contain iron

The medical staff will also want to know if you have heart disease, lung disease, or any medical condition that may need special attention. You must also arrange for someone to take you home afterward, because you will not be allowed to drive after being sedated.

Procedure

For the colonoscopy, you will lie on your left side on the examining table. You will be given pain medication and a moderate sedative to keep you comfortable and help you relax during the exam. The doctor and a nurse will monitor your vital signs, look for any signs of discomfort, and make adjustments as needed.

The doctor will then insert a long, flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a colonoscope (koh-LON-oh-skope). The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon onto a video screen so the doctor can carefully examine the lining of the colon. The scope bends so the doctor can move it around the curves of your colon.

You may be asked to change positions at times so the doctor can more easily move the scope to better see the different parts of your colon. The scope blows air into your colon and inflates it, which helps give the doctor a better view. Most patients do not remember the procedure afterwards.

The doctor can remove most abnormal growths in your colon, like a polyp, which is a growth in the lining of the bowel. Polyps are removed using tiny tools passed through the scope. Most polyps are not cancerous, but they could turn into cancer. Just looking at a polyp is not enough to tell if it is cancerous. The polyps are sent to a lab for testing. By identifying and removing polyps, a colonoscopy likely prevents most cancers from forming.

The doctor can also remove tissue samples to test in the lab for diseases of the colon (biopsy). In addition, if any bleeding occurs in the colon, the doctor can pass a laser, heater probe, electrical probe, or special medicines through the scope to stop the bleeding. The tissue removal and treatments to stop bleeding usually do not cause pain. In many cases, a colonoscopy allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment of colon abnormalities without the need for a major operation.

During the procedure you may feel mild cramping. You can reduce the cramping by taking several slow, deep breaths. When the doctor has finished, the colonoscope is slowly withdrawn while the lining of your bowel is carefully examined. Bleeding and puncture of the colon are possible but uncommon complications of a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. The sedative and pain medicine should keep you from feeling much discomfort during the exam. You may feel some cramping or the sensation of having gas after the procedure is completed, but it usually stops within an hour. You will need to remain at the colonoscopy facility for 1 to 2 hours so the sedative can wear off.

Rarely, some people experience severe abdominal pain, fever, bloody bowel movements, dizziness, or weakness afterward. If you have any of these side effects, contact your physician immediately. Read your discharge instructions carefully. Medications such as blood-thinners may need to be stopped for a short time after having your colonoscopy, especially if a biopsy was performed or polyps were removed. Full recovery by the next day is normal and expected and you may return to your regular activities.


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15/Oct/2019

At the Gastroenterology Institute Of Orlando, our providers see patients with numerous gastrointestinal, or GI, problems each day. The GI system is large and can affect everything from the throat to the colon. Regardless of the location, many GI diseases are common and their origins can be connected to dietary problems. Three of these GI diseases – hemorrhoids, acid reflux and diverticulitis – are only some of many issues treated by our team of gastroenterologists here in Orlando, FL.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are bundles of blood vessels and muscle inside the anal canal, the lowest part of the intestine. When they become irritated from constipation, pressure or a low-fiber diet, this produces the classic symptoms of pain, itching and bleeding. Your gastroenterologist recognizes that this can be an embarrassing condition to have; it’s very common, however, and important to seek treatment so that the degree of inflammation can be diagnosed and the best treatment can be prescribed.

Acid reflux

Most people have experienced the sensation of a “sour stomach” before, where belching can lead to a burning pain that rises into the throat. This is acid reflux, a condition in which the acidic contents of the stomach flows backwards into the esophagus, irritating its lining and producing heartburn, sore throat and a bitter taste in the mouth. When reflux persists, your Orlando gastroenterologist may diagnose you with gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD. Fortunately, there are several maintenance medications, as well as dietary changes, that help lessen the symptoms of GERD.

Diverticulitis

Some people have abnormal pockets in the lining of their large intestine that becomes irritated or inflamed. This is often due to diverticulitis, a bacterial infection that affects these pockets, or pouches. Diverticulitis is a common disease, thought to affect about 50% of American adults over 60 years of age and 35% of the younger adult population. To treat its symptoms, our gastroenterologist often recommends a change in diet and lifestyle and possibly antibiotics to clear up the bacteria. Surgery is uncommon unless complications, such as bowel perforation, occur.

For these or any other GI-related issue, you can trust the competent and friendly medical staff of the Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL to help you. Contact us for an appointment today!


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15/Oct/2019

Find out how gastroenterological care can keep your GI tract healthy and happy.
Sure, we all get the occasional upset stomach, heartburn, or bout of diarrhea. Of course, when something just doesn’t feel right, it’s important that you have gastroenterologists in Orlando, Fl, that you can turn to when you need it most. Learn more about your gastroenterological health and how keeping a healthy gut is important for the rest of your body.

When you think of gastroenterology you might only think about your stomach, but this system also involves the esophagus, liver, pancreas, intestines, and gallbladder. Most people don’t consider their GI health until they are experiencing symptoms; however, it’s important to pay attention to what you digestive tract is trying to tell you.

You might not know this but it’s not just your brain and spinal cord that’s full of neurons. Your stomach has them, too! In fact, there are more neurons in the stomach then there are in the spinal cord. While these digestive neurons are integral for everyday gut processes they are also instrumental in helping your immune system. These neurons help your body fight bacteria and viruses to keep these foreign bodies from harming you and making you sick.

It’s also pretty amazing to realize that our digestive system produces as much as 90 percent of our body’s serotonin, a chemical that is involved in immune health, mood regulation, sleep and appetite. Changes in serotonin levels within the body has also been linked to serious health problems such as heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and even osteoporosis (bone disease).

There are easily a variety of lifestyle modifications and habits that can improve your gut health and ward off issues. From eating a healthy balanced diet and taking probiotics to limiting alcohol and exercising regularly, there are many easy ways to keep your gastrointestinal system happy. Of course, our Orlando, FL, gastrointestinal doctors are here if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Chest pain
  • Bowel movement changes
  • Unexpected weight gain or weight loss

Our gastroenterology team provides comprehensive gastroenterological care for when you are dealing with any chronic or acute digestive problem. From gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gallstones to ulcerative colitis and liver disease, we are here to prevent, diagnose, and even treat your digestive conditions.
If you are experiencing gastrointestinal upset don’t hesitate to reach out to the GI experts at Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando. We would be happy to schedule an appointment right away so we can address your needs and concerns or questions about gastroenterology.


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15/Oct/2019

Find out why a gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy.

Most people have heard of colonoscopies but most people don’t really understand why they are needed. Whether you are experiencing questionable GI symptoms or not, our Orlando, FL, gastroenterologists are here to tell you about the situations in which a colonoscopy may be advised and what you can expect when you come in for this procedure.

What is a colonoscopy?

This in-office diagnostic procedure is a great way to check the health of your large intestines, or colon. A thin, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. At the end of the tube is a small camera that allows our Orlando GI doctors to be able to check the lining of the colon and to detect any abnormalities, polyps or signs of colorectal cancer.

Who should consider getting a colonoscopy?

Even if you’ve never had any issues with your intestines or gastrointestinal system it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from a colonoscopy. In fact, it’s recommended that all men and women should start getting routine colonoscopies by the time they turn 50 years old. This is because the risk of colorectal cancer increases as you get older. A colonoscopy is the very best screening tool to catch cancer during its earliest stages when it’s much easier to treat.

Everyone should schedule a routine colonoscopy by the time they turn 50 years old. If everything looks healthy we may recommend that you only come in every 10 years for this procedure. If we do find and remove one or more colon polyps then we may recommend coming in every five years.

Of course, this procedure isn’t just used to detect colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is a great diagnostic tool for those dealing with unexpected bleeding, abdominal pain, unexpected or sudden weight loss, bowel changes or persistent constipation or diarrhea. If you are dealing with unexplained or sudden intestinal symptoms a colonoscopy may be the best way to figure out what’s going on so that you can finally get the treatment you need to feel better.

Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL is here to keep your GI tract feeling its best. Whether you are dealing with a chronic digestive disorder or you just turned 50 years old, we are here to ensure that you get the proper care you need.


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15/Oct/2019

Approximately half of all Americans experience some type of hemorrhoid symptoms by the age of 50. It can be a difficult and hemorroids uncomfortable topic to discuss, but it is an incredibly common condition, so if you are experiencing symptoms, you are not alone. The gastroenterology team at the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando provide diagnosis and advanced treatment options for hemorrhoid pain and symptom

Hemorrhoid Treatment in Orlando, FL

Hemorrhoids (also known as piles) are caused by swollen veins around the anus or lower rectum. They can develop internally or externally, and the symptoms can range in severity from mild discomfort to considerable pain and bleeding during bowel movements. Although many cases can be treated conservatively with over the counter products, some cases may warrant treatment by a doctor depending on your symptoms.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Itching or sensitivity
  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • Swelling or a lump near the anus


When to See a Doctor

Always consult a physician if you experience bleeding during bowel movements, as it can also be a sign of other problems like colorectal cancer. If over the counter treatments do not provide relief or if your hemorrhoids are very painful, you should see a doctor. Also pay attention to the color and any changes in your stool. Maroon colored stool can be a sign of bleeding, even if you have not noticed traces of blood.

Anyone can develop a hemorrhoid. Certain factors like eating a low fiber diet and chronic constipation are common causes of hemorrhoids. Dehydration and a sedentary lifestyle are also common risk factors.

Hemorrhoid Relief in Orlando, FL

For more information about the best prevention and treatment options for hemorrhoids, contact the Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando by calling 407-201-3686 to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist in Orlando today.


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