When a colonoscopy is performed by Dr Marcus, his patients are free of pain or discomfort. And, that’s how it should be since the procedure plays a vital role in both preventative medicine – as well as in diagnosis and treatment. Did you know that having a colonoscopy as a routine part of your adult wellness plans (typically for adults 50-years and over) saves lives?
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women, and a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that removing benign colon and rectal polyps – a routine part of colonoscopies –lowers the risk for the development of cancer. Similarly, colonoscopy help us to identify abnormal cells – potential cancer starters – so we can take action swiftly before any cancer can develop or progress.
We’re Proud to Offer Innovative FUSE® Full Spectrum Endoscopy
Here in the offices of Dr. Samuel N. Marcus, we’re excited about our FUSE® Full Spectrum Endoscopy equipment. Dr Marcus and Mountain View Endoscopy Center are the first to use the Fuse endoscopy equipment in the whole of Northern California and the second in all of the state.
When the colonoscope was first invented, it was revolutionary. But, as with anything, it wasn’t perfect. Traditional colonoscopies only provide about a 170° view of the colon. As you can imagine, this required careful maneuvering on the doctor’s part to get as clear of a picture as possible. The makers of FUSE® equate it with “driving a car with blinders on.”
Now, almost five decades after the colonoscope was invented, EndoChoice Inc., has introduced FUSE® Full Spectrum Endoscopy. With this state-of-the art colonoscope, instead of the usual 170° field of view, Dr. Marcus is able to obtain a 330° view of your colon. This enables him to be more accurate and more thorough in the detection of polyps and in the diagnosis and treatment of his patients.
By being able to see and remove more polyps or growths, he is able to reduce your risk for colon cancer.
After Dr Marcus’ patients have had a colonoscopy by him with the FUSE® Full Spectrum Endoscopy, they can rest assured that they have benefitted from the most comprehensive and accurate examination available to date.
What is a Colonoscopy?
Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is divided into three major sections: upper, mid- and lower. Colonoscopies are designed to get a more detailed view of the lower-GI, composed of the rectum and colon – which is also called the large intestine or the bowel.
It can be important to get a look at the inside of your colon when you experience:
- Blood in the stool
- Significant changes in bowel habits
- Inexplicable abdominal pain
- After an abnormality is found on a colonic X-ray or computerized axial tomography (CT)
- A personal history of polyps, some types of non-colonic cancer, or symptoms that are considered precursors for colon cancer.
- Your 50th birthday (or sooner, depending on your family’s colon history).
If any of these situations sound familiar, contact our office and schedule an appointment. A conversation and a brief examination and part one; a colonoscopy or other investigatory procedure may or may not be required as part two.
To obtain images of the colon, with the FUSE® colonoscope, we use a four-foot long flexible tube equipped with four LEDs for illumination, three video-chips, channels for air, irrigation and suction and to pass accessories such as biopsy forceps and even a small, electrified wire loop – used as needed to remove polyps, growths and/or to obtain tissue samples. The tube is only about as wide as the average finger.
Once you are sedated (most patients feel very relaxed and drowsy, and often fall completely asleep!), comfortably positioned on your left side and covered with a blanket, the doctor will perform a brief rectal exam, using a lubricated gloved finger.
After that, the lubricated colonoscope is inserted into your anus, through the rectum and then up into the colon. Moving very slowly and gently, the doctor will move the scope up the descending colon, around the splenic flexure, across and through the transverse colon and then down the ascending colon, into the cecum (the first portion of your colon, where it connects to the small intestine). This is where the colonoscope stops.
Along the way, the doctor may need to activate the air channel, which inflates the colon a bit, creating space to gain a better view. You may also feel a bit of suction if the scope needs to remove liquid stools or blood. If the doctor sees any polyps, growths or abnormalities, he may choose to remove them there and/or take samples for biopsy. This typically does not cause the patient any pain or discomfort.
Preparation For Your Colonoscopy
The colon is the final stop in the digestive system; it’s the place where the last of the water and salt is removed from the liquidized undigested food residue deposited there by the small intestine. FYI: your small intestine moves about two-pints of this liquidized residue into the colon each day. By the time the colon has done its work, there is only about a pint of solid matter left.
This solid matter (aka “stool”) makes it impossible to get a clear image of your colon. Thus, preparing for a colonoscopy requires:
- Liquid Diet. Usually the day before your appointment, you need to take a liquid diet. No solid food is allowed. Our office will provide plenty of detailed instructions, including suggested food items. This diet gives you enough calories to live your daily life, but begins to cleanse your G.I. tract, minimizing the amount of stool that will accumulate before the colonoscopy.
- Bowel Preparation. The evening before and the morning of your appointment you need to drink the special cleansing liquid that will flush out the stool from your colon. This liquid is very effective so you won’t want to be too far away from the bathroom from this point on.
- Fasting. No solid food for 24 hours prior to your examination and no liquids for 3 hours prior to your examination.
- Enema(s). In some cases, we’ll also provide you with an enema solution, perhaps two. Following the instructions on the bottle, you can easily administer the enema to yourself two-hours before the procedure. After this, we’ll be able to have a free and clear view of your colon’s delicate tissues.
Because you will be given a sedative, it is also important that you have someone on hand to drive you home from your appointment. While you may “feel” like you’re okay, the sedative effect of your medication takes longer than you think too wear off completely and will remain in your system until the next day. So no driving that day and you will need to arrange in advance that a responsible person picks you up and drives you home. We recommend not to go to work and to avoid attending important meetings and making important decisions until the next day.
Once the procedure is complete, you will be transferred to the recovery area where the sedative effects of the medication will wear off enough to allow you to get dressed and for Dr. Marcus to come and talk to you about how the procedure went as well as what he saw or found. If tissue was removed or biopsied an appointment will be made for you to come back to Dr Marcus’ office to discuss the results.
Are you due for a colonoscopy? Contact us here at the office and we will start the process for you.