Colonoscopies and Ano-Rectal Surgery | Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute
Colonoscopies and Ano-Rectal Surgery
Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute, P.C., specializes in colonoscopies and anorectal surgeries, including the diagnosis and treatment of both surgical and non-surgical diseases in the colon, rectum, and anus.
Colonoscopies and other procedures are performed in-office; however, each patient is considered individually to determine whether treatment should be performed in-office or in a hospital.
Who Should Receive a Colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society recommends that people start regular screening at age 45 if they are not at increased risk of colorectal cancer. Increased risk of colorectal cancer includes:
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
- A personal history of getting radiation to the abdomen or pelvic area to treat the previous cancer
- A confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, including familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome
Several tests options are available for colorectal cancer screening:
Colonoscopies can be performed every 10 years. During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube, known as a colonoscope, is inserted in the rectum. The colonoscope contains a tiny video camera at its tip that allows the doctor to view the inside of the colon.
A colonoscopy screen lasts approximately 30-60 minutes, and medication is administered to patients to allow them to feel relaxed and drowsy. Patients will be asked to lie on their left side during the procedure.
A patient may feel mild cramping during the procedure, which can be mitigated by taking deep, slow breaths. When the doctor is finished with the screening, the tube is slowly withdrawn while the lining of your bowel is examined carefully.
If a doctor sees something that seems abnormal during your screening, small amounts of tissue will be removed and analyzed. Polyps, or abnormal growths, can then be removed.
Fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) and guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) can be administered every year. Multi-targeted stool DNA tests (MT-sDNA) can be administered every three years.
Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute will work with you to determine what test is right for you, and what tests are covered under your insurance provider.
Surgery is generally considered the main treatment for colon or rectal cancer. The type of rectal surgery administered depends on the stage of the cancer, its location and the goal of surgery. Radiation and chemotherapy is common before and after surgery.
Local Excision and Polypectomy
Early rectal cancers and polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy. A polypectomy involved removing the cancerous polyp at its stalk, usually done by a wire loop sent through the colonoscope to cut the polyp from the rectum wall using an electric current.
A local excision requires special tools during a colonoscopy to pass through the colonoscope to remove small cancers on the rectum’s inside lining as well as a small amount of healthy surrounding rectum tissue.
Low Anterior Resection (LAR)
Stage I, II and III cancers in the upper rectum can be removed through low anterior resection (LAR), where the section of the rectum containing the tumor is removed and the colon is reattached to the remaining part of the rectum, allowing patients to move their bowels normally.
A patient will receive general anesthesia, and will be unconscious and feel no pain for this procedure.
The necessary surgery and cancer screening depends on each patient’s unique needs. Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute, P.C., will discuss your options and provide feedback on potential side effects and what to expect before, during and after surgery or screening.
At Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute, P.C., all screenings and treatments are confidential, safe, cost-efficient and high-quality. We have over four board-certified Colon and Rectal Surgeons who are trained to provide effective, quality colorectal surgical care, colonoscopy, and transrectal ultrasound services. Surgeries are performed at multiple sites, including five local hospitals and outpatient operations at our AAAASF-accredited surgical facility. We have office locations in Birmingham, including our Southside location and Brookwood Medical Center.