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Medical Edge: Gentler colonoscopy

Updated: Tuesday, February 11 2014, 09:44 AM EST
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Liz Bonis) -- If you are scheduled soon for a colonoscopy, you might want to ask about a new kind of preparation for it now offered at Tri-State Gastroenterology.
 
Kelly Camm has a family history of colon cancer. "My dad had colon cancer, fortunately they caught it and they were able to treat him, and he lived to a ripe old age."
 
They caught it because her dad had a colonoscopy.  Dr. Chad Hatfield explains the process. "We take a flexible tube, with a light on the end, it's a video colonoscope and we look for polyps to remove."

Those polyps can become cancerous, so Kelly scheduled a colonoscopy to find out more about her own risk.

What makes her procedure unique is how she chose to prepare for this procedure. It's kind of a kinder, gentler approach and they refer to it as split dosing. "Split dosing is they take half the prep on the night before, and half the prep three to five hours prior to the procedure."

By taking this laxative like solution in two doses instead of one, it's a lot more comfortable for the patient and actually does a better job compared to the single dose of clearing the colon, so Doctor Chad Hatfield's team can see inside it. "So our polyp detection goes up, our number of aborted cases is going down, so it's very effective dosing."

Kelly says she hopes this new kinder and gentler approach will up the odds those at risk for colon cancer will get a colonoscopy, rather than putting it off. "I think it's really important because if people can catch it early, you have a 90 percent success rate of getting it cured."

If you have a family history of this disease, you should get a colonoscopy ten years before the age of the person who had it. So, if they were diagnosed at age 40,  you should get the test at age 30.

Medical Edge: Gentler colonoscopy


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