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What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an internal exam used to detect colon polyps. Colorectal cancer can occur from these polyps. When detected early, the polyps can be removed, preventing them from becoming colorectal cancer. Most colon cancers have no symptoms which is why screenings are so important.

Because of the rise in colon cancer cases in younger patients, the U. S. Preventative Services Task Force lowered the age for colonoscopy to 45.

Colon cancer can strike at any age if a person has a personal history of polyps, a strong family history of colorectal cancer, inherited forms of colorectal polyps or cancers, or predisposing chronic digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease, or ulcerative colitis.

To make an appointment, call 888-707-7621 or click on Physicians Directory for a full list of our gastroenterologists.

Is It Time to Consider a Colonoscopy?

It’s not something anyone wants to think about, but deciding to get a colonoscopy is an important step in staying healthy. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you 45 or older?
  • Do you have a personal history of colon polyps?
  • Do you have inherited forms of colorectal polyps or cancers?
  • Do you have predisposing chronic digestive conditions?
  • Have you experienced rectal bleeding, change in stool color or bowel habits?
  • Do you experience crampy abdominal pain?
  • Have you tested positive for iron deficiency anemia?

 

To make an appointment, call 888-707-7621 or click on Physicians Directory for a full list of our gastroenterologists.

Q&A with Gastroenterologist Dr. Henry Ho

When it comes to getting a colonoscopy, patients often have many questions. Below, Dr. Ho answers a few questions concerning the procedure.

Why should everyone age 45 and up get a colonoscopy?

Colorectal cancer occurs from pre-cancerous growths, or polyps, that grow in the colon. When detected early, the polyps can be removed, preventing them from becoming colorectal cancer.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Most colorectal cancers have no symptoms which is why screenings are so important. However, patients should see a doctor if they experience abdominal pain, blood in the stool, or a change in bowel habits that last longer than a week.

What factors can lead to developing polyps and colon cancer?

Colon cancer can strike if a person has a personal history of polyps, a strong family history of colorectal cancer, inherited forms of colorectal polyps or cancers, or predisposing chronic digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease, or ulcerative colitis.

Are there other tests that can detect colon cancer?

Colonoscopy is the preferred method of colorectal cancer screening. However, there are other options including the Fecal Immunochemical Test, the FIT-fecal DNA, CT colonography, and flexible sigmoidoscopy. Colonoscopy is the best test for finding pre-cancerous polyps and is the only test that allows for the removal of pre-cancerous polyps during an exam.

What You Need to Know About Colonoscopy

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an internal exam used to detect colon polyps. Colorectal cancer can occur from these polyps. When detected early, the polyps can be removed, preventing them from becoming colorectal cancer. Most colon cancers have no symptoms which is why screenings are so important.

Patients with a personal history of polyps, a strong family history of colorectal cancer, inherited forms of colorectal polyps or cancers, or predisposing chronic digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis should schedule a colonoscopy by the age of 45.

Age 45 is New Recommended Age for Colonoscopy

A rise in colon cancer diagnoses in people younger than 50 led the U. S. Preventative Services Task Force to establish a new guideline siting age 45 for colonoscopy. When detected early, the polyps can be removed, preventing them from becoming colorectal cancer.

From 2012 to 2016, colon cancer cases increased every year by 2 percent in people younger than 50, according to cancer.org.

According to mdanderson.org, if the current trend continues, by 2030 colon cancer cases are projected to increase by 90 percent in patients 35 and younger.

Colonoscopy Instructions – Miralax Prep

Please read entire instruction sheet carefully.

You must purchase the following:
– 6 Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) Laxative tablets
– 1 Miralax 238-gram bottle
– 64 ounces of Gatorade (or similar beverage)

The Day Before Your Procedure

  • Mix Miralax powder with 64 ounces of Gatorade (or similar beverage). Shake well and refrigerate.
  • YOU MUST BE ON A CLEAR LIQUID DIET ALL DAY.
  • No red or purple dyes
  • Clear tea, soft drinks, Gatorade, coffee no cream, Jell-O, popsicles, clear bouillon, apple juice, Kool-Aid, water, water ice
  • NO solid food
  • At 12 p.m., take 3 Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) tablets with 8 ounces of clear liquid.
  • At 1 p.m., drink ½ the Miralax solution. Drink one 8-ounce glass every 15-30 minutes. If you are full or have nausea, stop or slow your intake for 30 minutes, then start again.
  • At 5 p.m., take the remaining 3 Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) tablets with 8 ounces of clear liquid.
  • At 6 p.m., drink the remaining ½ of the Miralax solution until completed (8 ounces every 15-30 minutes).
  • Do not drink or eat anything after the prep is complete except for medications you are required to take (i.e. blood pressure medications) with a small sip of water.
  • You must take ALL of the prep solution to clean your bowel adequately. Even if you are passing clear liquid, you must continue to take the entire dose of the prep.

The Day of Your Procedure

  • NO solid food. Stop all liquids 4 hours before your arrival time. No gum or breath mints.
  • You MUST take your morning heart, blood pressure, asthma, and/or seizure medications with a small sip of water.

Notes and Reminders

  • Be sure to bring someone with you who can remain during the procedure and drive you home.
  • Please consult your prescribing provider at least 1 week prior to your scheduled procedure regarding any diabetic or anti-coagulant medication (Plavix, Coumadin, Xarelto, etc). Speak to your primary care provider or endocrinologist regarding your diabetes medications prior to your procedure. If you take blood thinners, we prefer that these are held prior to the procedure. Please call your prescribing provider to determine if it is safe to hold these medications and for how many days prior to your procedure.
  • For 1 week prior to the procedure, avoid iron tablets or vitamins with iron supplements, oil-based vitamins or herbals, and fiber supplements. Also avoid salads or high fiber foods including seeds, corn, quinoa, or nuts.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Do not wear body piercings, jewelry, or valuables. Do not wear eye make-up or contact lenses.
  • You will not be able to drive, operate machinery, or return to work for the rest of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day unless the doctor states otherwise.

Colonoscopy Instructions — PEG3350

Please read entire instruction sheet carefully.

The Day Before Your Procedure

  • Mix all of the PEG 3350 with water or any clear liquid of your choice then refrigerate.
  • YOU MUST BE ON A CLEAR LIQUID DIET ALL DAY — No red or purple dyes. Clear tea, soft drinks, Gatorade, coffee no cream, Jell-o, popsicles, clear bouillon, apple juice, Kool-Aid, water, water ice are permitted.
  • NO solid food.
  • Start drinking PEG 3350 mixture at 6 p.m. the day prior to your procedure. You may flavor with Crystal Light. Drink one 8-ounce glass every 15-30 minutes until you have consumed ½ the container. If you are full or have nausea, stop or slow your intake for 30 minutes, and then start again.
  • Resume drinking the second ½ of the container at 8 p.m. until completed. (8 ounces every 15-30 minutes).
  • Do not drink or eat anything after the prep is complete except for medications you are required to take (i.e. blood pressure medications) with a small sip of water.
  • You must take ALL of the prep solution to clean your bowel adequately. Even if you are passing clear liquid, you must continue to take the entire dose of the prep.

The Day of Your Procedure

  • NO solid food. Stop all liquids four hours before your arrival time. No gum or breath mints.
  • You MUST take your morning heart, blood pressure, asthma, and/or seizure medications with a small sip of water.

Notes and Reminders

  • Be sure to bring someone with you who can remain during the procedure and drive you home.
  • Please consult your prescribing provider at least 1 week prior to your scheduled procedure regarding any diabetic or anti-coagulant medication (Plavix, Coumadin, Xarelto, etc). Speak to your primary care provider or endocrinologist regarding your diabetes medications prior to your procedure. If you take blood thinners, we prefer that these are held prior to the procedure. Please call your prescribing provider to determine if it is safe to hold these medications and for how many days prior to your procedure.
  • For 1 week prior to the procedure, avoid iron tablets or vitamins with iron supplements, oil-based vitamins or herbals, and fiber supplements. Also avoid salads or high fiber foods including seeds, corn, quinoa, or nuts.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Do not wear body piercings, jewelry, or valuables. Do not wear eye make-up or contact lenses.
  • You will not be able to drive, operate machinery, or return to work for the rest of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day unless the doctor states otherwise.

Upper Endoscopy (EGD) Instructions

Please read entire instruction sheet carefully.

The Day of Your Procedure

  • DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight. No gum or breath mints.
  • You MUST take your morning heart, blood pressure, asthma, and/or seizure medications with a small sip of water.

Notes and Reminders

  • Be sure to bring someone with you who can remain during the procedure and drive you home.
  • Please consult your prescribing provider at least 1 week prior to your scheduled procedure regarding any diabetic or anti-coagulant medication (Plavix, Coumadin, Xarelto, etc). Speak to your primary care provider or endocrinologist regarding your diabetes medications prior to your procedure. If you take blood thinner, we prefer that these are held prior to the procedure. Please call your prescribing provider to determine if it is safe to hold these medications and for how many days prior to your procedure.
  • For 1 week prior to the procedure, avoid NSAIDS such as Naprosyn, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin, if possible.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Do not wear body piercings, jewelry, or valuables. Do not wear eye make-up or contact lenses.
  • You will not be able to drive, operate machinery, or return to work for the rest of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day unless the doctor states otherwise.

Gastroenterologist
Dr. Henry Ho
Board-Certified in Gastroenterology

Dr. Henry C. Ho, a Gastroenterologist who is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Board Certified in Gastroenterology, offers consultation and high-level endoscopic service for patients in South Jersey and beyond. In his career, he has been recognized with academic appointments, travel grants, and invited speaking engagements. He has served as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals and has published original research. Having grown up locally, he looks forward to serving the community and improving its GI health.

Dr. Ho completed his undergraduate education at Duke University in Durham, NC, with a B.A. with distinction and received his medical degree from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ.  He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. He completed two fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine — one in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and one in Advanced Endoscopy.

To make an appointment, call 888-707-7621 or click on Physicians Directory for a full list of our gastroenterologists.

Effectively all insurance contracts prior to the transition to Salem Medical Center on February 1, 2019, are currently active and in full force.
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