Who needs to see a gastroenterologist?
The American Cancer Society recommends that everyone should see a gastroenterologist to be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 – sooner if you have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer. This may be the first visit to a gastroenterologist if your digestive system typically functions well. If you have digestive challenges, chronic or acute, your primary care doctor may suggest consulting a gastroenterologist.
What conditions do gastroenterologists treat?
Gastroenterologists treat people with the following conditions and complaints:
Colon Cancer Screening
What Can You Expect During Your Endoscopy Visit?
Take a look at our general guideline of what patients can expect before, during and after an endoscopy procedure at the Tully Endoscopy Center.
There are certain factors that may increase your chance of getting polyps or colorectal cancer:
- If you’re 50 or older, when more than 90% of cases occur
- If you’ve previously had polyps or colon cancer
- If you have a family history of colorectal cancer
- Your background: African Americans have a slightly higher risk and should begin screening at age 45 instead of 50
- If you have a high-fat diet, lack exercise, or are overweight
- If you smoke
The risk of developing colorectal cancer at some point in your life is about 1 in 20, according to the American Cancer Society. However, increased awareness has led to an increase in colonoscopies with more early detection, which is good news.
We offer the latest technology in colonoscopy, the Fuse Endoscope System. We check the entire colon and the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract. The 330 degree view of the Fuse scope dramatically improves the effectiveness of this life-saving procedure, as it’s now possible to detect a significantly higher number of pre-cancerous lesions, or adenomas.
In a recent study published in The Lancet Oncology, the Fuse endoscope found 69% more pre-cancerous lesions than the standard forward viewing scopes. That means that we can bring a higher quality of care to our patients by potentially reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
Additional GI Services Offered
Hemorrhoids, cushions of tissue containing swollen blood vessels, located in the lower rectum or anus, are a common complaint. Causes include constipation, pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, heavy lifting, long periods of sitting, or diarrhea. We treat both internal and external hemorrhoids, surgically and non-surgically. We are specialists in the CRH O’Regan banding system, a painless and non-invasive method for treating external hemorrhoids.
Upper GI Gastroscopy
This checks the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus. This allows the gastroenterologist to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
Manometry and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Testing
The GI Center of Excellence has the latest manometry and pH testing equipment to enhance diagnosis of acid reflux disease. Manometry records pressure and motility of the swallowing process using tiny sensors within a catheter, all in just 30 minutes. With this technology, we evaluate and assess:
- Persistent gastric reflux
- Difficulty swallowing
- Non-cardiac chest pain
- The pressure and motor functions of the esophagus and the lower esophageal sphincter
Cases in which patients are unresponsive to standard PPI management
We also offer 24 hr. PH impedance and Bravo testing to help further evaluate:
- Acid Reflux medication non-responders
- Negative Gastroscopy
- Cough, belch, or voice disorders
- Regurgitation and pediatric reflux
Our Pelvic Floor Physiology Program evaluates pelvic floor dysfunction, including incontinence. High-resolution anorectal manometry and pudendal nerve testing methods help those with:
Barrett's Esophagus and Esophageal Cancer
If your doctor has recommended that you have an endoscopy to screen for Barrett’s Esophagus, you’ll then have an evaluation by a gastroenterologist to determine if you’re at risk for progression to esophageal cancer. Risk factors include:
- Poorly controlled reflux
- Family history of esophageal adenocarcinoma
Our state-of-the-art HALO System from Covidien provides advanced ablation technology for treating those diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus. The system removes the Barrett’s epithelium during a short, well-tolerated endoscopic procedure in an outpatient setting. The response is usually excellent and there’s a quick recovery period. The GI Center of Excellence is the only freestanding outpatient facility in the region offering this treatment option.
The HALO treatment offers a cure rate of between 80 and 90 percent. Patients generally require four treatments, and will likely remain Barrett’s-free up to five years post-treatment, according to data. Those with recurrent Barrett’s can be treated again, and 99 percent will remain Barrett’s-free.