Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Had the Colonoscopy...

Due to my history of intestinal infections and other health issues, my Gastroenterologist decided to further investigate the condition of my intestines.

In July, I had a procedure done called an Upper GI Endoscopy. The purpose of this procedure is to investigate the upper portion of the intestines (the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum).

Prior to the procedure, I was sedated into a "twilight" sleep. During the procedure, the doctor removed four polyps, and a biopsy (a usual procedure done when polyps are found) was performed on the polyps. I was told that the polyps that were removed from my small intestine were called Fundic Gland Polyps. Thankfully, the polyps were benign.

Due to my age of 36 (most people with the above type of polyps are older), my doctor inquired about my familial history of polyps. While, I have a few family members--on my mother's side of the family--who have undergone Colonoscopies, none of my relatives have been told that they had this type of polyp. Although, a second cousin on my father's side of the family recently passed away at the age of 47 from Colon Cancer, I do not have a thorough knowledge about the medical history of people who are on my father's side of the family.

Understandably, my Gastroenterologist suggested that I have a Colonoscopy. A Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to view the large intestine which is made up of the rectum and the colon. So, I had the Colonoscopy on Friday.

There is no necessary preparation for an Upper GI Endoscopy, but there is a preparation process for the Colonoscopy. There are various preparation kits, but my preparation process included drinking a 10 oz. glass of chilled Magnesium Citrate and taking 6 Dulcolax tablets. The purpose of the preparation is to cleanse the system of fecal matter so that the doctor will be able to clearly see inside of the colon. Needless to say, I did not sleep well that night due to the "cleansing" of my system.

While the medical staff was very pleasant and accommodating, I did receive somewhat of a surprise just prior to being taken into the room for the procedure. I was told that I would be having the Colonoscopy AND another Upper GI Endoscopy procedure. According to my doctor-- during the procedure that was done in July--he had found 13 more small, Fundic Gland Polyps in my Upper GI tract. He said that the polyps were not cancerous but could turn into cancer, so it was best to remove them. While I was a bit disturbed that I hadn't been informed of these polyps (I had only been told about 4 of the polyps), I--of course--agreed to the additional procedure, because I knew it was in my best interest.

Once again, I was placed into a "twilight" sleep. During my procedure, 13 polyps were removed from the Upper GI Tract, and two polyps were identified in the colon. One of the Colon Polyps was removed. I thought that this would be the final procedure regarding my intestines, but my Gastroenterologist referred me to a surgeon to remove the other Colon Polyp. My Gastroenterologist said he did not feel comfortable removing the polyp due to its large size and positioning within my colon. So, my next step is to consult with the surgeon.

***Please note: Due to the Colonoscopy being such a good indicator of potential colon cancer, it is currently recommended that people have a Colonoscopy every ten years, starting at age 50. For people who have risk factors (i.e. familial history of colon cancer), there may be an earlier age recommendation, and it may be recommended that the procedure occur on a more frequent basis.

General information: Colonoscopy

Information: Upper GI Endoscopy
general information about colon polyps
Information about Fundic Gland Polyps

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