011 482-3010
What You Need To Know About A Polypectomy

What You Need To Know About A Polypectomy

At GIDOCJHB, we provide comprehensive diagnosis, management, treatment options, and follow-up care of surgical disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Expertise, combined with the use of the latest technology, allows Dr Schneider to treat even the most difficult cases.

We provide every patient with a consistent, compassionate, and personalized approach to care that acknowledges and understands both the physical and emotional impact these medical problems can have on people.

Fast, flexible scheduling is available, including immediate appointments for some services and direct access scheduling of screening colonoscopies for appropriate patients.

 

What Is a Polypectomy?

A polypectomy is a minimally-invasive procedure to remove polyps from the large intestine.

A polyp is an abnormal collection of tissue. The tissue will be studied to determine if the growths are cancerous, precancerous, or benign. This can prevent colon cancer. A Polypectomy is generally regarded as very safe.

The two most common types of polypectomy are:

  • Uterine polypectomy – Removing polyps in the endometrial tissue, the tissue that lines the uterus.
  • Colon polypectomy – Removing polyps in the colon.

Polyps may also develop in other regions of the body.

 

Who Needs a Polypectomy?

Most people with polyps don’t know they have them unless it causes symptoms or during a colonoscopy or screening for something else.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with a polyp will require a polypectomy to remove it.

 polypectomy surgery - What You Need To Know About A Polypectomy

Diagnosis

Screening tests are crucial in detecting polyps in their early stages before they become cancerous. Caught early, you’ll have a better chance of a full recovery. 

Screening methods include:

  • Colonoscopy – the standard method for colorectal polyps. If polyps are found, a gastroenterologist may remove them immediately or take tissue samples for further analysis.
  • Virtual colonoscopy – A minimally invasive test that uses a CT scan to view your colon. If a polyp is found, you’ll need a colonoscopy to have it removed.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – A thin tube is inserted into your rectum to examine for abnormalities. If a polyp is found, you’ll need a colonoscopy to have it removed.
  • Stool-based tests – Looking for the presence of blood in the stool or assessing your stool DNA. If your stool test is positive you will need a colonoscopy.

 

Risks, Causes, and Complications of a Polypectomy

Anyone can develop a polyp, but some of the well-known factors that increase the likelihood of developing one are:

  • Increase in age
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Genetics and family history
  • Certain foods
  • Have diabetes
  • Diagnosed with IBS or other gastrointestinal conditions
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol

Removing small polyps is regarded as generally safe and a routine part of a colonoscopy.
The risk increases with the size of the polyp. However, as with any surgery, there are some complications that can arise, such as:

  • Organ puncture – This can be life-threatening, but is rare.
  • Bleeding – If the wound does not properly heal, it can cause bleeding
  • Infection – As with any wound, it is prone to infection, especially if not cared for correctly.
  • Incomplete removal – The first procedure can leave some tissue behind, requiring a second polypectomy.

Treatment

A gastroenterologist is most likely to remove all polyps discovered during a bowel examination and diagnosis.

polypectomy after care - What You Need To Know About A Polypectomy

Follow-Up Care

Following a polypectomy, you can return home the same day. Many people experience some pain and small amounts of bleeding for up to five days afterward, but this is generally regarded as normal. It’s recommended to take one to two days off work to rest and recover.

It’s also best to avoid certain ingredients, such as anything spicy, tea, coffee, alcohol, and sugary drinks for at least 72 hours. Driving is also not recommended for up to 48 hours after your procedure.

A polypectomy does not need to be regularly repeated. However, if there are areas of concern that were not fully removed, you may be scheduled for a second procedure to remove the remaining lesions.

If there was no evidence of cancer noted on your lab reports, you will need to continue to have routine colonoscopies every five to ten years.

You should contact your gastroenterologist immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after your procedure:

  • Fever or chills
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe abdominal pain or cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

Once the polyps have been analysed, if cancer is detected your gastroenterologist will schedule a follow-up consultation to discuss the next steps.

 polypectomy procedure - What You Need To Know About A Polypectomy

Tips for Preparing for Your First Appointment With a Gastroenterologist

  • Phone two days before to ask about any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not eating solid food on the day before your scheduled appointment.
  • Write down your symptoms, if any.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor so you don’t forget.

 

Preparation for a Polypectomy

The preparation for a polypectomy is the same for a colonoscopy.

A gastroenterologist will need your large intestine to be entirely clear and free from any visual obstruction because any stool left in the intestine will block the view, hindering the chances of finding any polyps that you may have in your colon.

The standard process will be that you will need to drink only liquids during the 24 hours before the procedure and take a solution that will help you empty your bowels.

Your gastroenterologist will prepare you for this and guide you through the entire process.

Timing

A polypectomy itself should take up to 25 minutes, which could be at least 40 minutes to an hour depending on how many polyps are found and the size.

You will be given medication that makes you drowsy, which is why it’s recommended to rest immediately once you are home.

Location

A polypectomy is generally done in a GI’s office that is equipped with a colonoscope and monitor.

What to Wear

You can dress comfortably. You will be asked to undress from the waist down and to wear a gown throughout your procedure.

 

Colon Cancer Risk Factors Prevention infographic 120x300 - What You Need To Know About A Polypectomy

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

If you or someone you know is living with chronic liver damage, then you know how important it is to receive ongoing care from an experienced and caring gastroenterologist to attend to your medical needs.

Board-certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Schneider, specializes in diagnosing, evaluating, and treating liver disorders.

With an individualized approach to testing and treatment, we diagnose and address conditions using the latest technologies and advanced methods.

Contact us to book an appointment. We will work with you to address your specific health needs and concerns.

 cirrhosis liver - Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a condition that occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partially blocking the flow of blood through the liver.

The liver is the body’s largest internal organ. The liver does many important things including:

  • Removes waste from the body, such as toxins and medicines
  • Makes bile to help digest food
  • Stores sugar that the body uses for energy
  • Makes new proteins

Scarring impairs the liver’s ability to:

  • Control infections
  • Remove bacteria and toxins from the blood
  • Process nutrients, hormones, and drugs
  • Make proteins that regulate blood clotting
  • Produce bile to help absorb fats — including cholesterol — and fat-soluble vitamins

A person cannot function productively or live an active lifestyle without a healthy working liver, which makes cirrhosis a serious disease to have. To find out more about Cirrhosis, click here.

Cirrhosis Diagnosis

A diagnosis of cirrhosis begins with a thorough personal and family history background and physical exam.

The history may reveal long-term alcohol abuse, exposure to hepatitis C, family history of autoimmune diseases, or other risk factors.

The following tests may also be ordered:

Blood Test

To measure how well the liver is functioning. and to determine if the patient may have hepatitis.

Biopsy

A tiny sample of liver cells is extracted and examined under a microscope. The biopsy can confirm cirrhosis and its cause.

Endoscopy

A gastroenterologist inserts a long, thin tube with a light and video camera at the end that goes through the esophagus and into the stomach.

A gastroenterologist will look out for swollen blood vessels that can be a sign of cirrhosis.

CT scan (computed tomography)

A CT scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound shows your internal organs as they work. It checks how blood is flowing through different blood vessels.

An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs.

Cirrhosis diagnosis - Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cirrhosis Symptoms

Symptoms don’t appear during the early stages of cirrhosis. You may only start showing symptoms until the disorder has progressed.

When the liver becomes more damaged, some of the symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Nose bleeds
  • Weight loss
  • jaundice (yellow discoloration)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Pain or tenderness in the area around the liver
  • itchy skin

More serious symptoms include:

  • Confusion and difficulty thinking clearly
  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • Swelling of the legs (edema)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Impotence
  • Vomiting blood
  • Urine is dark
  • Hairloss
  • Muscle cramps
  • Experience walking problems

Cirrhosis Causes and Risk Factors

You are more likely to get cirrhosis of the liver if you:

  • Abuse alcohol regularly over many years
  • Have hepatitis B, C, or D
  • Have liver inherited disease or family history
  • Have diabetes
  • Are obese
  • Inject drugs using shared needles
  • Smoking
  • Have unprotected sex
  • Have diabetes
  • Take drugs or exposed to prolonged exposure of toxic chemicals or parasites.

Cirrhosis treatment johannesburg - Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cirrhosis Treatment

Since nothing can be done about scarring that has already occurred, treatment is concentrated on helping patients avoid complications of the disease and blocking further damage.

Treatment options are dependent on the cause and diagnosis of cirrhosis. Options include:

  • Eliminating alcohol intake (in cases of alcohol abuse) and maintaining a healthy diet
  • Medications, including interferon and corticosteroids
  • Endoscopy to treat enlarged blood vessels
  • Diuretics or laxatives to reduce the buildup of fluids
  • Antibiotics
  • Liver transplantation, which should be considered when cirrhosis is severe and the liver is failing to function.

 

Cirrhosis FAQ

What is the outlook for those with liver cirrhosis?

The general health of a patient with cirrhosis is always dependent on the underlying causes of cirrhosis and how successful treatment measures are to halt further liver damage.

There is no cure for liver cirrhosis, and a transplant remains the most effective treatment (when successful) for the best possible quality of life once damage to the organ occurs.

 

Is cirrhosis cancer?

No, cirrhosis of the liver isn’t cancer. However, most people who have liver cancer have cirrhosis. If you have cirrhosis, you have an increased risk of liver cancer.

 

Can liver damage be reversed?

Cirrhosis is generally not considered to be reversible. However, there are different degrees of cirrhosis which range from early to late stage.

If your liver disease or complication is caught early and successfully managed, it may be possible to slow or stop the progression of the disease.

One of the most important factors to ensure you stay healthy and try to lower your risk levels.

  • If you routinely drink alcohol, stop drinking.
  • If you are overweight or obese, lose weight, and exercise more.
  • Eat healthy: A diet full of vegetables and fruits along with foods that provide lean protein is highly recommended. Reduction in fried and fatty food is good.
  • If you have hepatitis C or hepatitis B and are eligible for treatment, get started on medications to try to clear the virus.
  • If you smoke, stop immediately.

How do I know if I have cirrhosis if I don’t show any symptoms?

In the early stages of cirrhosis, symptoms usually don’t appear. The only way to know for sure is to get examined by a medical doctor, such as a gastroenterologist.

Early diagnosis of cirrhosis can help prevent symptoms from developing and make your treatment plan more effective.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Signs You Need To See A Gastroenterologist

Signs You Need To See A Gastroenterologist

A healthy gastrointestinal system is vital for overall health. 

If your digestive tract is not healthy, several risk factors can lead to a more serious problems in the future.

When do you know it’s time to see a gastroenterologist?

If you’ve been feeling digestive discomfort or other symptoms, maybe your gut might be trying to tell you something.

Gastroenterologists diagnose, manage, and treat all diseases of the digestive tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, anus, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver.

It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms that come along with stomach issues so you’ll be able to take action before it leads to something more serious.

Dr. Schneider is a certified gastroenterologist and consults patients to understand their issues, diagnoses their problem, plan a treatment method, and do his best to cure the problem.

 

What Does a GI Doctor Do?

A gastroenterologist is a specialist internist (a doctor trained in internal medicine) and is experts in diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases of the GI tract in both men and women.

A gastroenterologist may perform several procedures to diagnose GI diseases. However, these procedures are not surgical.

One of the major procedures performed by a gastroenterologist is endoscopy. It involves the use of narrow flexible tubes with a built-in video camera that can be inserted into the intestinal tract.

These non-surgical GI procedures may be performed to diagnose a gastrointestinal disease in both men and women:

  • Gastroscopies (to detect oesophageal, gastric, and small intestinal disease)
  • Sigmoidoscopies (to evaluate blood loss/bowel pain)
  • Capsule endoscopies (to examine the small intestine)
  • Liver biopsies (to assess liver inflammation and fibrosis)
  • Endoscopic ultrasounds (to examine the gastrointestinal tract)
  • Colonoscopies (to detect colon cancer/colon polyps)

What Makes a Gastroenterologist Different?

The thorough training (both academic and practical) that Gastroenterologists complete provides them with the ability to provide high quality, comprehensive care for patients with a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions.

Private practice Gastroenterologists are considered experts in their field of an advanced understanding of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver.

 signs you should see gastroenterologist - Signs You Need To See A Gastroenterologist

Eight Signs You Should See A GI Doctor

1. If You Are Experiencing Regular Diarrhea and Constipation

Having diarrhea can feel like a constant urge to defecate, or having a mostly liquid stool. On the other hand, constipation feels like you are struggling to defecate, or very little comes out.

You might only go once or twice a week and feel like you are straining and that it’s difficult to pass a stool.

If you have diarrhea lasting more than four days, it’s recommended to seek professional help from a gastroenterologist.

2. Unexplained Weight Change

An unexpected change in weight, either weight loss or weight gain should be a red flag that something is not right.

Of course, if you are regularly eating unhealthy you can pick up weight, and if you are working out regularly you could lose weight, so you know your body best to make this kind of determination.

Fluctuations are normal, but an unintentional change of close to 10% over a 3-6 month period is a cause for concern.

Some diseases prevent the GI tract from properly absorbing food. This prevents us from putting on weight and can lead to vitamin deficiency.


3. You Are Over 45

Once you reach the 50-year mark, it’s highly recommended that you should see a gastroenterologist for a colorectal cancer screening, and younger if you have a family history of cancer.

A colonoscopy is widely known to actually prevent colon cancer before it starts, if caught at an early stage.

A gastroenterologist uses a colonoscopy to check for polyps and painlessly removes them, so they do not have the chance to turn cancerous.

4. Jaundice

Jaundice is a condition in which the skin and eyes develop a yellowish/orange colour due to the excess of a chemical called bilirubin.

Depending on the amount of bilirubin in the cells, the person might have a barely noticeable coloration in the eyes only. People with severe cases can have skin with a yellow tint.

Some cases can be treated with medication but others may require surgery.

5. Bloody Stool

If you notice blood in your stool, it’s usually a sign of something serious and you should schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist immediately so they can perform a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options. While it may turn out to be nothing, it could be a sign of cancer or ulcerative colitis.

6. Regular Heartburn

If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux to the point that it’s interrupting your daily activities such as being able to work or sleep, a gastroenterologist can help.

Medications may help you relieve symptoms in the short term, but you should find out what the real problem is as it might be signs of a bigger problem that might need treatment.

why you should see a gastroenterologist - Signs You Need To See A Gastroenterologist


7. Bloated Belly

If your clothes are suddenly feeling too tight or you wake up for several days in a row and you feel and look bloated, this is usually a sign of a stomach issue that needs to be looked at.

The cause could be nothing alarming or it could be something else that requires treatment.

8. You’ve Been Diagnosed with a Digestive Condition

If your family physician doctor has diagnosed you with a complex digestive disorder, such as Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Pancreatitis, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), or Celiac disease, it’s important to consult with a gastroenterologist who will then advise you on a specialised treatment plan to relieve symptoms and work towards a path to cure your disease, if one is available.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors Prevention infographic 120x300 - Signs You Need To See A Gastroenterologist

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatment

Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatment

gastritis causes symptoms 120x300 - Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatmentgastritis causes symptoms 120x300 - Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and TreatmentAt GIDOCJHB, board-certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Schneider, and his team understand how gastritis, stomach ulcers, hernias, and other stomach disorders can interfere with your daily life.

At our offices in Milpark, Johannesburg, we offer on-site diagnostics and specialised treatments.

If you or a loved one is experiencing problems due to digestive tract and related disorders, book an appointment to see Dr. Schneider to get a diagnosis and learn about the treatment options available for Gastritis.

 

What Is Gastritis?

Gastritis refers to the inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach.

Gastritis or stomach inflammation can increase the risk of stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, or stomach cancer.

Gastritis may occur suddenly but is temporary (acute gastritis) or it can occur slowly over time and last for weeks or even years (chronic gastritis). 

It’s important to seek evaluation and treatment for chronic gastritis because it can lead to complications such as ulcers and bleeding.

For the majority of people, however, gastritis isn’t serious and improves rather with appropriate treatment and lifestyle remedies.

To find out more about gastritis, I recommend reading this article

 gastritis treatment - Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatment

Causes of Gastritis

Gastritis can be caused by several different factors, including:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Aspirin and pain relievers
  • An overflow of gastric juices, which is a stress response in some people
  • The backflow of bile from the small intestine (duodenum)
  • Radioactive treatments to the upper abdomen or lower part of the chest
  • Persistent, intense stress that affects a patient’s digestive system
  • Surgery to remove parts of your stomach
  • Diabetes

Symptoms

Gastritis symptoms do not always correspond to the extent of physical changes in the lining of the stomach. Most noticeable symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Indigestion
  • Excessive vomiting or vomiting blood
  • Nausea
  • Feeling full
  • Shortness of breath or light-headedness
  • Abdominal bloating and discomfort.
  • Abdominal pain
  • Burping or belching and hiccups.
  • Bloody or black vomit
  • Acid reflux
  • Bloody or dark black, tarry stools

 gastritis bloodtests - Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatment

Diagnosis

If gastritis is suspected after a detailed medical history and physical examination, other tests will likely follow.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can help detect anemia, a condition in which there are not enough red blood cells present.

Anemia can be a strong indicator of blood loss, which can be linked to gastritis.

Upper GI Series

X-rays with a special dye to highlight abnormal areas (also called a barium swallow) various gastritis-related abnormalities can be seen with an upper gastrointestinal series, including ulcers and inflammation.

Upper Endoscopy

If the diagnosis of gastritis remains unclear, and/or if your symptoms are severe or persistent, an upper endoscopy may be performed.

During endoscopy, a gastroenterologist passes a flexible tube equipped with a lens (endoscope) down your throat and into your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.

Using the endoscope, he or she will look for signs of inflammation.

If a suspicious area is found, your gastroenterologist may remove small tissue samples (biopsy) for laboratory examination.

Stool Test

Stool tests can be used to check for the presence of Helicobacter Pylori or other infections.

With this test, a scientist will look for an antigen that is normally located on the surface of the bacteria.

 

Treatment for Gastritis

Treatment will depend on a range of factors such as your age, medical history, how severe your symptoms and conditions are, and general health.

Medications

  • Treating the bacterial infection With a combination of antibiotics
  • Blocking acid-producing cells with proton pump inhibitors
  • Reducing acid production with histamine blockers
  • Antacids to neutralize the stomach acids and provide pain relief.
  • Vitamin B12 supplements to treat pernicious anemia

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

You may find some relief from signs and symptoms if you:

  • Eat smaller and more regularly. If you experience frequent indigestion and bloating, it’s best to eat smaller meals more often to help ease the effects of stomach acid.
  • Don’t eat foods that irritate your stomach, especially those that are spicy, acidic, fried, sugary, or fatty.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can irritate the mucous lining of your stomach.
  • Consider changing pain relievers. If you use pain relievers that increase your risk of gastritis, ask your doctor whether acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may be an option for you

 

Gastritis FAQs

Does Gastritis Go Away?

Yes, once diet or lifestyle changes are made, the acute symptoms of the condition can resolve.

Other more serious lifestyle changes can cause gastritis to go away as well.

These changes include removing irritants completely, like avoiding alcohol, removing stress, and quitting smoking.

However, If an individual’s gastritis symptoms are caused by the H. pylori bacteria, medication and treatment are required to ensure proper recovery.

gastritis healthy food - Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatment

What Foods Help Ease Gastritis?

Foods that help with gastritis symptoms are those that help reduce and control the amount of acid in the stomach. These foods are often high in fiber and can include:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Melons
  • Nuts
  • Celery
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Ginger
  • Apple cider vinegar

 gastritis causes symptoms 1 - Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatment

Are there lifestyle improvements I can make that will help?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Follow the diet prescribed by your gastroenterologist or nutritionist. Avoid any food or drink that can irritate your stomach and high in acid
  • Keep a journal of foods that trigger symptoms
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Exercise regularly at least 3 x week
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Learn healthy ways to manage stress.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors Prevention infographic 120x300 - Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms, Dignosis and Treatment

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Things You Need To Know About Diverticulitis

Things You Need To Know About Diverticulitis

At GIDOCJHB, we know that patients want to know as much as they can about the GI system and disorders that affect their daily lives.

You don’t have to suffer through digestive problems alone.

Dr. Schneider provides personalised support and patient care using the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options available.

With striving to provide the highest quality of care for all patients, we are actively involved in clinical research for people diagnosed with Diverticulitis.

Our goal at GIDOCJHB is to provide specialised individual treatment, improved quality of life, and provide superior care for people suffering from Diverticulitis.

 

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis can be a painful condition in which small pouches that are inflamed or infected bulge out from the colon (the lower part of the large intestine).

The pouches are often described as looking like small thumbs poking out of the side of the intestine.

 things to know diverticulitis - Things You Need To Know About Diverticulitis

 

Difference Between Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

Diverticulosis refers to the presence of these tiny bulges or pockets (diverticula) in your colon.

Usually, they don’t cause any symptoms or need to be treated. However, diverticulosis can lead to diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis begins with diverticulosis and is initiated by the thinning of the wall of the diverticulum, or pouch, followed by a perforation that is then walled off by an inflammatory response.

Due to this happening, this inflammation results in moderate to severe pain, fever, and general discomfort.

For more information, click here

 

Causes and Risk Factors of Diverticulitis

It is not fully understood why diverticulitis occurs or what may be the trigger.

It is believed among many gastroenterologists that a low fiber diet may be the cause, among genetic and environmental factors, but this has not yet been proven.

Risk factors include:

  • Are over 40 years of age
  • Are male
  • Are overweight
  • Eat a low-fiber diet.
  • Eat a diet high in fat and red meat
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Smoke

 

Signs and Symptoms of Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis can cause symptoms ranging from only mild pain for most people, to severe pain if not managed correctly.

These symptoms can appear momentarily or they can develop gradually over a period of days.

Potential symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain usually felt on the left side (most common symptom)
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Blood in your stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Vomiting

If you develop any serious symptoms, such as vomiting or blood in your stool, it may be a sign of a more serious problem and it’s recommended to call your doctor immediately.

Diverticulitis treatment south africa - Things You Need To Know About Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis Diagnosis

To diagnose diverticulitis, your gastroenterologist will likely ask you about your symptoms, health history, and any medications that you take.

They’ll likely also perform a physical exam to check your abdomen for tenderness. Your GI may also perform some of the following tests:

  • X-rays – to assess for complications from diverticulitis.
  • Digital rectal exam – To identify if you have any problems in the anus or rectal area.
  • Colonoscopy – to examine the inside of your GI tract
  • A stool sample – This will check for infections
  • CT scan – A CT scan is one of the best ways to diagnose diverticulitis. It can also help identify the severity of diverticulitis and guide treatment better.
  • Urine test – to check for infections
  • Blood tests – to check for signs of inflammation, anemia, or kidney or liver problems
  • Pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy in women

 

Diverticulitis Treatment

Immediate treatment for diverticulitis is crucial as infection can cause harmful complications.

The treatment for diverticulitis depends on your current condition and may include:

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

Small to mild diverticulitis symptoms can often be treated by an individual with or without medication (recommended by your gastroenterologist).

People with diverticulosis who do not have symptoms do not require treatment. However, most gastroenterologists recommend increasing fiber in the diet, which can help to bulk the stools and possibly prevent the development of new diverticula, diverticulitis, or diverticular bleeding.

Fiber is not proven to prevent these conditions in all patients but may help to control recurrent episodes in some.

Medical Treatments

Medicine like antibiotics is usually prescribed to treat or prevent infections, prevent side effects, or soften the stool. Antibiotics can usually be taken as pills at home.

If you have severe pain or an infection, though, you may need to be treated in a hospital so antibiotics can be given intravenously (into a vein).

Moderate-to-severe diverticulitis may require bed rest and a liquid diet to help the large intestine recover.

Surgery Treatments

The selection of the most appropriate surgical option is best made in consultation with your gastroenterologist.

If you have an abscess, for example, drainage or surgery may be needed to clean out the infection.

Colon resection may also be done, which is surgery to remove the section of the colon that contains the diverticulitis and where the healthy ends of the intestine are sewn back together

The choice depends on the extent of the problem and your overall health.

 

 dos and donts diverticulitis - Things You Need To Know About Diverticulitis

DOs and DON’Ts in Managing Diverticulitis:

  • DO take medicines as prescribed by your gastroenterologist
  • DO eat a diet that is high in fiber, low in salt, and low in fat to avoid constipation. This will reduce your chances of getting diverticulitis
  • DO drink plenty of water
  • DO exercise regularly
  • DO maintain your correct weight. and try to lose weight if you’re overweight
  • DO maintain good bowel habits by trying to have a bowel movement daily
  • DO call your gastroenterologist or hospital if you have blood in your stool or if your stools are dark
  • DO call your gastroenterologist or hospital if abdominal pain becomes to difficult to manage
  • DO call your gastroenterologist or hospital if you get any severe symptoms
  • DON’T strain with bowel movements
  • DON’T use laxatives

Colon Cancer Risk Factors Prevention infographic 120x300 - Things You Need To Know About Diverticulitis

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Most Commonly Asked Questions About Colonoscopy

Most Commonly Asked Questions About Colonoscopy

When it comes to important matters of the body involving your digestive tract, stomach, and colon, a gastroenterologist is a specialist and highly trained doctor to consult with.

GI doctors also assist patients with matters involving the pancreas, gallbladder, liver, and other organs involved in the elimination of waste.

To help answer some of your most popular questions, we’ve put together an extensive ‘FAQ’ article to share our most frequently asked questions about GI care.

This patient guide covers inquiries about our practice, procedural questions, and more.

We hope this information will help you understand better and prepare for your colonoscopy procedure.  Get in touch with us if you have any other questions or concerns.

 

1. What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an examination that enables your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine).

The GI inserts a colonoscope (a flexible tube with a camera at the tip) into the rectum and large intestine to carefully inspect the colon to look for signs of cancer or pre-cancerous lesions.

 

2. What is a Polyp?

During a colonoscopy procedure, a polyp may be detected by your gastroenterologist. Polyps are abnormal growths of tissue, which vary in size from 4cm to 5cm.

Because almost all colorectal cancers start as small polyps, the early detection and removal of these polyps during colonoscopy is an effective means to prevent colorectal cancer.

Polyps generally grow slowly, so a small precancerous polyp may take 10 to 15 years to turn into cancer.

 colonoscopy polyps removal - Most Commonly Asked Questions About Colonoscopy

3. What Happens if a Polyp is Found?

If the complex polyp is benign, with no signs of cancer present, then the patient may choose non-surgical removal instead of surgery.

If your gastroenterologist believes that removal of the polyp is needed, a wire loop or snare will be passed through the colonoscope.

This will sever the polyp from the intestinal wall via an electrical current, a procedure known as polypectomy.

 

4. How Often Should I Get a Colonoscopy?

Gastroenterologists usually recommend a colonoscopy when you turn 50, however, adults with a high risk and family history of colorectal cancer may need a colonoscopy at a younger age and more frequently.

It’s important to note that you will probably have other than your colonoscopy over the years, such as fecal occult blood tests, which can be a symptom of colon cancer.

 

5. Will the Colonoscopy be Painful?

Most patients do not experience pain and some don’t even remember their procedure, due to being sedated (you can choose to receive a sedative that makes you feel relaxed and drowsy.

Your gastroenterologist can discuss with you the best form of sedation to suit your needs.

Some patients do feel some cramping, but generally, their feedback is positive and easy-going. Patients usually find the prep more difficult.

 questions about colonoscopy - Most Commonly Asked Questions About Colonoscopy

 

6. Are Colonoscopies Safe?

Colonoscopies are generally regarded as very safe. However, as with any procedure, some risks can include:

  • Persistent bleeding after biopsy or polyp removal
  • Peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity)
  • Perforation of the intestinal wall (rare)
  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating, or rectal irritation caused by the bowel cleanse prep and/or procedure
  • Adverse reaction to the sedative or pain medication

There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your gastroenterologist before the procedure.

 

7. How Long Does the Procedure Take?

Patients are usually only with us for 2-3 hours, which also consists of pre-procedure steps to follow.

The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes but can vary depending on several factors.

Once completed, the procedure requires patients to be monitored for a minimum of 30 minutes before discharge. 

 

8. What Should I Expect After the Procedure?

Upon completion of your colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist will review the findings, provide follow-up care instructions, and gastroenterology treatment recommendations with you and your driver/care partner.

Your driver/care partner needs to realize that you may not remember anything in great detail due to the effects of the anesthesia.

      • You may experience several minor effects including, but not limited to:
      • You will be tired for the day and may feel confused or forgetful. This may last up to 12 hours after sedation.
      • You may feel bloated and have gas pains and mild cramping.
      • You will be thirsty and/or hungry.
      • You may experience nausea or vomiting.
      • You may notice a small amount of rectal bleeding
      • You may not have a bowel movement for 48 hours after the procedure.

9. Is Colonoscopy the Best Way to Discover Colon Cancer?

Yes. Colonoscopy is the best way to discover and, in most cases, simultaneously remove potentially pre-malignant polyps.

It is still the gold standard for detecting colon cancer.

Screening for colon cancer works in two ways: first, by finding cancers early when treatment is most effective and second, by finding growths (polyps) inside the colon and removing them before they become cancer.

 colonoscopy questions and answers - Most Commonly Asked Questions About Colonoscopy

10. How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

A clean colon is essential for the gastroenterologist to do an accurate examination for polyps or other abnormalities.

The most popular colonoscopy preparation method used involves drinking polyethylene glycol (PEG). It is odorless, tasteless, and is mixed with certain clear liquids.

PEG is to be drank along with other clear liquids the day before the scheduled procedure.

Your gastroenterologist will discuss with you your options and advise the best preparation method for you.

Here are 5 more ways you can prepare yourself for a colonoscopy

11. Will the Colonoscopy Prep Make Me Sick?

Colonoscopy prep is known to be inconvenient. Feelings of bloating, nausea, abdominal cramping, or chills are common but should decrease throughout the bowel preparation.

If you develop nausea or vomiting, stop the prep for a few minutes then resume the process.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.