Posts for tag: Colonoscopies
According to reports from the CDC, colon cancer takes 50,000 lives annually in the United States alone. Given this grave number, you may be thinking, "how do I avoid developing this condition as well?" As an answer to your concern, Dr. Azeem Khan of Forest Hills Gastroenterology in New York City performs routine colonoscopy screenings on patients ages 50 and older in order to protect them from becoming a part of this dire statistic. Here's some important information about this vital test:
Just what is a colonoscopy?
It's a minimally invasive diagnostic test which visualizes the lower GI tract. Performed with the benefit of twilight sedation (oral conscious sedation), a colonoscopy shows the gastroenterologist the internal structures of the rectum and bowel.
By introducing a lighted tube into the anus, Dr. Khan can look for cancers, polyps (benign growths which can become cancerous), ulcers, bleeding and more. Using this thin scope, he can take real-time images and videos of the colon, as well as remove polyps and other tissues for biopsy.
A colonoscopy at our New York City office takes only about 45 minutes from start to finish. During the entire procedure, you'll lie comfortably on your left side or back, and although you may feel some mild pressure, there is no pain or discomfort. When the procedure has finished, you will remain in a recovery area for an hour. Dr. Khan will review your results with you, and you'll be driven home by an adult friend or relative.
Truly, the most difficult part of this screening test is the day-before preparation. You'll have to drink only clear liquids such as broth or apple juice, and in the evening, you'll consume copious amounts of liquid cathartics to clear the intestine completely. This "clean out" allows Dr. Khan to have an unobstructed view of your bowel.
What are the common symptoms of colon cancer?
Some people experience weight loss or a dramatic change in bowel habits (i.e. diarrhea, constipation, etc.). However, a vast number of people have no symptoms whatsoever, which is why routine cancer screenings are so important. Most physicians recommend an initial screening at 50 unless there is a familial history of colon cancer, in which case tests should begin an earlier age.
Take control of your colon health
To arrange your screening, call our New York City office at (718) 268-0418.
Patients who have never had a colonoscopy sometimes find the thought of undergoing one to be intimidating. Although there is nothing to be nervous about given the safety of the procedure, it can nevertheless be helpful to have a better understanding of colonoscopies. Read below to learn the answers to some common questions, and contact Forest Hills Gastroenterology's New York City office to schedule a colonoscopy with Dr. Azeem Khan!
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is typically an outpatient procedure performed by a gastroenterologist in order to examine the interior of the colon. The procedure allows the gastroenterologist to check for any abnormalities along the colon wall and to identify possible signs of colon cancer or other gastrointestinal problems.
Who should have a colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society recommends that most healthy adults have their first colonoscopy between the ages of 45-50. Individuals with a family history of colon cancer could also benefit from having their first colonoscopy at an earlier age. Patients with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or gastrointestinal problems should have their first colonoscopy at an earlier age, as well. If you have concerns, Dr. Khan can also definitively determine if you need a colonoscopy.
How is a colonoscopy performed?
During a colonoscopy procedure at our New York City office, a colonoscope is used to examine the colon. The colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera on the end that allows the gastroenterologist to view images of the colon’s interior on a video monitor during the procedure. The colonoscope is gently passed throughout the rectum and into the colon.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
Prior to your colonoscopy, a cleansing routine will be prescribed to help you prepare for the procedure. The cleansing routine can include oral laxatives, a special cleansing solution, and dietary restrictions. Cleansing prior to the procedure helps clean out the colon so that the doctor can better view it’s interior during the colonoscopy.
Does a colonoscopy hurt?
Most patients tolerate colonoscopies quite well and do not experience any significant pain, although some patients do experience minor discomfort. To combat discomfort, sedatives and painkillers are typically used to help patients relax during the procedure.
How long does the procedure take?
Colonoscopy procedures usually take up to one hour to complete. In some cases, the procedure can take a bit longer if polyps are found and removed at the same time. The average length of time it takes to prep, undergo, and recover from a colonoscopy is about three hours total. Most patients return home the same day.
Every adult should have a colonoscopy by age 50, although a gastroenterologist, such as Dr. Khan, can determine if you would benefit from a colonoscopy at an earlier age. To schedule a colonoscopy in New York City with Dr. Khan, contact Forest Hills Gastroenterology at (718) 268-0418.
The best way to avoid colon cancer is by visiting your New York City area, gastroenterologist, Dr. UAzeem Khan, for a colonoscopy starting at the age of 50.
More About Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is when your doctor examines the lining of your intestines. They check for abnormalities, like polyps, using a thin flexible tube that's inserted into the anus. The instrument allows your doctor to see on a monitor what's in the lining.
A routine visit to your doctor for a colonoscopy is how most people detect cancer during its earliest stages. Board-certified physicians want their patients to schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy, as soon as possible.
Adults aged 50 to 75 are recommended to visit their gastroenterologist on a regular basis, according to the CDC. Colorectal cancer usually begins as a small polyp in the colon.
At first, the polyps aren't cancerous but they may develop cancer over time. If you take the proper precautions of screening and keeping an eye out for symptoms, however, cancer can be treated or prevented.
Colon cancer affects thousands of Americans. According to the American Cancer Society's statistics, more than 95,000 people were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 alone.
Symptoms aren't always obvious, so keep an eye out for the following:
- Changes in Bowel Habits: If you are suffering from constipation or diarrhea for more than four weeks, that may be a sign of cancer.
- Bloody Stool: Hemorrhoids are usually accompanied by blood in stool, but the blood may also be a sign of a more serious condition like cancer.
Need a consultation? Give our New York City Area Office a Call Today!
If you would like more information on colonoscopies and screening procedures, you can contact the doctors at Forest Hills Gastroenterology. If you are in Forest Hills, NY, call your gastroenterologist, Dr. Azeem Khan, to schedule an appointment today! We are proud to serve residents of the New York City area.
Find out why a colonoscopy is the best way to observe your intestinal health.
While the health of your colon might not be something you’d discuss with friends at a dinner party, it is important that you do discuss it with our New York City gastroenterologist Dr. Azeem Khan. Remember, you don’t have to be experiencing symptoms to benefit from a colonoscopy. In fact, once you turn 50 years old it’s time to schedule your first colonoscopy. Why?
Well, a colonoscopy is the best way to be able to truly check the health of your colon and rectum. It’s also ideal for detecting the earliest warning signs of colorectal cancer. When caught early on, colorectal cancer can more easily be treated; however, since symptoms often don’t manifest until cancer has spread, often times the only way for our NYC GI doctor to detect cancerous growths within the colon is through a colonoscopy.
Both men and women are susceptible to colorectal cancer, so once you reach 50 years old it’s time to schedule an appointment with us. While some people may feel a little nervous about their first colonoscopy, there is really nothing to worry about. You will be placed under conscious sedation so most patients fall asleep during the procedure and don’t remember a thing. A colonoscopy usually takes about 30 minutes.
Once the sedation has taken effect, we will guide the scope through your rectum and into the colon so we can examine the lining through the camera at the end of the scope. If we do find cancerous or precancerous polyps during your colonoscopy we can also remove them during your procedure. This is a quick, easy outpatient procedure.
Of course, a colonoscopy may also be required if you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms such as:
- Recurrent or severe diarrhea or constipation
- Changes in bowel habits
- Abdominal pain
- Unexpected weight loss
- Blood in the stool
If you have risk factors that could increase your chances of getting colorectal cancer you may also want to talk to our New York City gastroenterologist about whether you should be screened before 50 years old.
If it’s time to schedule your first colonoscopy or you are experiencing gastrointestinal problems that aren’t going away don’t hesitate to contact the GI experts at Forest Hills Gastroenterology in Forest Hills, NY.