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Choosing a specialty center for colonoscopy and complex polypectomy instead of surgery for large colon polyps

It is widely known that colonoscopy not only detects colon cancers but enables the removal of pre-cancerous polyps.  Large polyps are sometimes detected during a colonoscopy that the physician feels are too large to safely remove by standard polypectomy techniques.  Many patients with large benign polyps are sent for surgery because their physicians feel they cannot remove them through the colonoscope.

However, the vast majority of large, non-cancerous colon polyps can be completely removed by colonoscopy at specialized centers, allowing patients to avoid the discomfort and potential risks of partial colon resection.  Studies have shown that

Worried about getting a colonoscopy?

Are you worried or anxious about getting a colonoscopy?  Have you been putting off getting a colonoscopy?  If so, no need to worry, you are not alone because most individuals are nervous, too.  However, it is important to remember that a colonoscopy may be a lifesaving procedure.

It is recommended that beginning at 50 both men and women start being screened for colon cancer.  A common screening for colon cancer is a colonoscopy which searches for polyps.  An early detection of colon cancer increases survival rates.

Raman Menon, M.D., from the Swedish Colon and Rectal Surgery Clinic, will be speaking at a free upcoming event in Edmonds and answering your questions.The goal of the event is to help you become educated about what a colonoscopy entails in order to ease any anxiety and/or fear you may be experiencing.  The event will be interactive and Dr. Menon will explain the role a colonoscopy plays as a preventative measure of colon cancer.  He will speak about each step of the colonoscopy procedure and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Recommended vaccinations for those with IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a persistent inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal system affecting over one million Americans. Treatment of IBD often requires altering a patient’s immune response and can increase the risk for infectious complications. To help prevent this, the American Gastroenterological Association and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation have published immunization guidelines for IBD patients. Despite these recommendations, less than half of IBD patients are up-to-date on their recommended immunizations. Studies show that the most common reason for missing vaccinations is the lack of awareness that immunizations are safe and recommended.


If you are immune-suppressed, inactivated vaccines are safe and should be given. I would recommend:

Different treatment options for acid reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common disorder of the upper gastrointestinal track, affecting nearly 40% of the American population.  Antisecretory medications such as omeprazole are the mainstay of treatment, but 40% of patients have incomplete control of symptoms.  While surgical repair (fundoplication) is highly effective, only 1% of patients have an operation, leaving a large group of individuals incompletely treated.

The Stretta procedure is another option to treat GERD. 

How to deal with acute or chronic diarrhea

Diarrhea is described as loose watery stools sometimes with increase in frequency requiring frequent trips to the toilet.  In most cases diarrhea symptoms usually last for a few days, but if the symptoms occur for more than the 30 days it can be a sign of a serious disorder. 

Diarrhea occurs when the food and fluids you ingest pass too quickly through your colon.  Diarrhea can be classified into acute or chronic and its symptoms can be classified as uncomplicated and complicated.  Uncomplicated symptoms of diarrhea are abdominal cramping/bloating, thin loose watery stools, and the sense of urgency to have a bowel movements.  Symptoms of complicated diarrhea include blood or undigested food in the stool, weight loss and fever.  If you have symptoms of complicated diarrhea you need to notify your primary care provider for further evaluation.

No “window of opportunity” for celiac disease prevention

As a pediatric gastroenterologist, I’m often asked whether there is any way to prevent a child from developing celiac disease. Based on what I knew regarding how food allergies develop, I used to counsel families that there might be a “window of opportunity”, between four and six months, when it’s possible to introduce grains and other gluten-containing foods that could potentially “teach” the immune system to tolerate gluten and thus lower the risk of developing celiac disease.

However, my “window theory” recently got thrown out the window when the results of two important scientific studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Over the counter medications to avoid for gastrointestinal health

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medications frequently used to treat general aches and pains like headaches, musculoskeletal, and joint pains. NSAIDs include Celebrex, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, Alleve, Advil, Diclofenac, and Naproxen.

However, these medications may cause harm to the gastrointestinal system: possible bleeding risks, ulcer formation, ischemia, or decreased blood flow to certain areas of the gastrointestinal system which can lead to increased bleeding, vomiting of blood, or blood in the stool. These medications should be ...
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