What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows your doctor to visually examine the inside of the colon for closer inspection of irregularities.
How is a Colonoscopy Performed?
This is accomplished by inserting a tube with a camera on the end into the anus and through the colon. The images from the camera are viewed either through the instrument or on a display monitor.
How Can I Prepare For The Procedure?
The colon must be completely clean to achieve accurate results from a colonoscopy. Patients will usually be given a special cleansing solution to drink before the exam, or may be asked to consume only a clear liquid diet with laxatives or enemas. Most medications can still be taken, although some such as aspirin or blood thinners may require special instructions. Dr. Kim will instruct you on how to prepare.
What Can I Expect During A Colonoscopy?
Before the colonoscopy procedure, an intravenous, or IV, with a light sedative will be used to make the patient comfortable. Vital signs will be monitored throughout the procedure. The patient will lie on their left side as the colonoscope is inserted into the anus and guided to the opening of the small intestine. The colonoscope is then slowly withdrawn from the colon and the lining of the colon is examined carefully by the physician. The removal of polyps, or growths, for biopsy may also be conducted during the procedure. The colonoscopy procedure usually takes between 30-60 minutes to perform.
What Happens After a Colonoscopy?
After the procedure, patients will be kept under observation for up to 2 hours, until the sedative used for the procedure wears off. Reflexes and judgment may be impaired and driving is not permitted for 24 hours after the procedure. Some people may experience pressure, bloating and cramping in the abdomen after the procedure, but these effects are temporary.
What Are The Risks Or Complications Of The Procedure?
Complications of a colonoscopy are rare. If they do occur, complications can include fever, abdominal pain, dizziness, bleeding from a biopsy site, perforation of the bowel wall or a reaction to the medication used in the IV.
If you have hemorrhoids, you are not alone. Far from it! More than half of adults in America suffer from hemorrhoids. But few people with hemorrhoids ask their doctors for help. This might be because they are embarrassed, because they think the only treatment is painful surgery, or because they want to try home remedies before seeking medical advice. However, it is very important to tell your doctor if you think you may have hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids detected early can usually be resolved with non-surgical in-office treatment.
Not only can Dr. Kim help you find relief from discomfort, more important, he will also determine whether your symptoms are caused by hemorrhoids or by a number of other, potentially serious problems that cause the same or similar symptoms.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. These veins normally provide cushioning during bowel movements and may swell after repeated lifting, straining, constipation, passing hard stools, diarrhea, or pregnancy. Hemorrhoids aren't life-threatening but they can be painful, and if swelling persists the veins may become permanently stretched ("prolapsed").
Hemorrhoids should only be treated if they are painful or cause complications. To choose an appropriate treatment, the cause or causes need to be determined.
Anal pain is a common condition in which those affected experience pain in the anus or rectum and the surrounding areas. Anal pain may occur from a variety of conditions, including diarrhea, constipation, anal fissures, pruritus ani, or hemorrhoids. Anal pain can usually be remedied with conservative methods, such as over-the-counter-ointments, increasing your fiber intake, or soaking in sitz baths. Medical attention is only necessary for anal pain that is accompanied by rectal bleeding, dizziness, fever, chills, or anal discharge.
A fistula is an abnormal connection between body structures. A patient with an anal fistula passes feces through the fistula instead of through the anus. Fistulas most commonly form after trauma, surgery, infection or inflammation. Specifically, anal fistulas may result from prolonged diarrhea or constipation or from certain conditions such as Crohn's disease, malignant tumors, leukemia and tuberculosis.
Treatment is based on the location and severity of the anal fistula. Surgery is usually the appropriate choice to prevent a complex fistula from spreading deeper into the sphincter or becoming malignant. The goal is to repair the fistula while preserving continence, the patient's ability to control the bowel.
Fibrin injection is a relatively new treatment in which fibrin glue (a combination of the clotting agents fibrinogen and thrombin) is introduced into the fistula to create a clot without affecting sphincter function. Injections may be the sole treatment or may be performed after another procedure for an increased chance of success. Injections are particularly beneficial for patients with recurrent fistulas.
Fecal incontinence is a common condition involving a loss of bowel control, resulting in a leaking of stool from the rectum, which often occurs while passing gas. This condition may develop as a result of constipation, diarrhea, or from damage to the muscles or nerves that control bowel movement release. Other factors such as aging and childbirth may also contribute to fecal incontinence and can significantly affect a person's quality of life.
This condition occurs most often in older adults, and is also more common in females because of the relation to childbirth, although both men and women of any age can be affected. Although it may be embarrassing to discuss, fecal incontinence is a common condition affecting millions of patients each year, and should receive proper medical attention so that patients can engage in their everyday activities without the worry of incontinence.
Treatment for fecal incontinence depends on the cause and severity of the condition, but aims to restore control over bowel movements. Medication may be prescribed to relieve chronic diarrhea or constipation. A new advance in the treatment of fecal incontinence is a gel called Solesta. Dr. Kim can safely inject this substance in an office-based procedure to naturally build up tissue in the anal canal and reduce leakage.
More severe conditions may require surgery to correct structural damage. Surgery may include a sphincteroplasty or sphincter replacement, which repair a damaged anal sphincter, or a colostomy to collect any fecal matter. These procedures are usually reserved for patients who have not responded to life modifications. Dr. Kim will determine the most effective treatment approach for your individual condition.