Your gastroenterologist in Weslaco and Edinburg, TX, Dr. S Murthy Badiga, performs many colonoscopies each year at Renaissance Gastroenterology. Known as an accurate way to screen adults for colon cancer, a routine colonoscopy is relatively quick and comfortable, giving the physician an excellent "look" into the entire large intestine through the anus and rectum.
If you have a question about the colonoscopy, you'll likely find the answer in the following list of Frequently Asked Questions prepared by our staff. At Renaissance Gastroenterology, Dr. Badiga wants all his patients informed on their conditions, medications and procedures as he partners with them in achieving optimal health.
Just what is a colonoscopy?
During a colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a flexible, lighted tube via the anus and rectum to view the interior of the large intestine. The tube contains a miniature camera which transfers live color images of the colon to a monitor in the treatment room.
Why is a colonoscopy important?
Not only can a colonoscopy detect the reasons for intestinal bleeding or recurring diarrhea, it is the preferred screening tool for colon cancer. Colon cancer kills more than 50 thousand Americans annually, says the American Cancer Society. Caught early, however, it's curable.
Who should have this test?
Both men and women beginning at age 50 should get a baseline test and then every 10 years thereafter unless polyps or other irregularities are discovered. Some studies suggest that African-Americans start screening at age 45.
Does a colonoscopy hurt?
There may be some mild cramping during the examination. However, Dr. Badiga says most patients remain very comfortable during and after the procedure.
Is there a special prep?
Yes, a colonoscopy requires a clear liquid diet (water, clear juices and broths) the day before you go to Renaissance Gastroenterology. Your gastroenterologist in Weslaco and Edinburg also will advise you on special colon cleansers and laxatives to take the night before your test. This preparation ensures Dr. Badiga gets the clearest images possible. In addition, you should not take blood thinners or aspirin within a specified time before your exam. Dr. Badiga will review your medications and tell you what medications to avoid.
Do I need anesthesia?
Most patients receive an oral tranquilizer right before their colonoscopy. This medication relaxes the individual, and he or she may even drift off to sleep during the 30 to 45 minute test. A friend or loved one drives the patient home afterwards.
What happens if the doctor sees a polyp or other suspect area?
Dr. Badiga removes the polyp and takes a tissue sample for biopsy. Biopsy tells the nature of the polyp--non-cancerous, pre-cancerous or cancerous.
Are there complications to this procedure?
Bowel perforation and bleeding are possible, though rare.
Do I need a colonoscopy?
If you are 50 or older and wish to know the health status of your GI tract, the answer is yes. Please contact Renaissance Gastroenterology for an appointment with Dr. Badiga in Weslaco and Edinburg, TX. His compassionate manner and skill will put you at ease regarding this important health assessment. Call (956) 362-ENDO.
Your gastrointestinal health is an important facet of your overall health. Digestive issues can quickly take a toll on your everyday life, causing both physical and psychological problems which could affect your well-being. Luckily, your gastroenterologist can help you overcome your digestive health problems and get back on your feet. Find out more about gastroenterology and what it can do for you with Dr. S. Murthy Badiga at his practice with locations in Edinburg and Weslaco, TX.
What is gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine which studies and treats conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver. Gastroenterologists spend three years undergoing an internal medicine residency before they are eligible for additional training. Additional study and training in the gastroenterology field normally lasts around six years after the completion of medical school.
What does a gastroenterologist treat?
A gastroenterologist specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterologists are specially trained in endoscopy, which uses a long, thin tube with a camera attached to explore the digestive tract. Gastroenterologists learn standard and advanced endoscopic procedures and use them for a variety of testing and treatments. These endoscopic procedures can range from a simple look into symptoms to full tumor removal, depending on the situation.
Gastroenterology Treatments in Edinburg and Weslaco
Treatments for gastrointestinal issues vary depending on the diagnosis, but often involve some type of endoscopic procedure. Diagnostic testing like x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs can help your gastroenterologist investigate further into your symptoms. Colonoscopy is a common diagnostic and treatment procedure. Doctors use colonoscopy, which involves threading a long, thin tube with an attached camera through the colon, to investigate symptoms, remove polyps, screen for cancer and more. Your doctor can help you determine the best gastrointestinal treatment for your symptoms and your condition.
For more information on gastroenterology, please contact Dr. Badiga. Call (956) 994-3394 to schedule your appointment at the Edinburg, TX location and (956) 973-2446 to schedule your appointment at the Weslaco, TX location today!
Could your upset stomach be due to an ulcer?
Stomach ulcers are more common than you might think. While stomach ulcers alone are something worth taking care of, it’s also a sign that you could be suffering from peptic ulcer disease. In fact, about 4 million Americans suffer from this condition, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Our Edinburg and Weslaco, TX, gastroenterologist, Dr. S. Murthy Badiga, wants you to know more about stomach ulcers, as well as how to prevent them and treat them if they happen to you.
What can cause stomach ulcers to form?
These uncomfortable sores often occur when the mucus that usually coats the stomach has decreased in thickness, causing the regular acids that form during digestion to erode the lining of the stomach. There are many habits and illnesses that can lead to stomach ulcers including,
- A family history of ulcers
- Being a heavy drinker
- Using NSAID pain relievers for a long time (or overusing them)
- H. pylori bacterial infection
- Taking steroids
What are the symptoms of a stomach ulcer?
One of the most common warning signs that you may have a stomach ulcer is a gnawing or burning feeling in the stomach (anywhere above the belly button and below the chest). You may find that this burning sensation is worse when you have an empty stomach. Eating foods or taking antacids may temporarily relieve your pain. You may also experience acid reflux, heartburn, bloating and nausea.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, no matter how mild, it’s important that you talk to our Edinburg and Weslaco gastrointestinal doctor.
How can I prevent these ulcers from forming?
To protect yourself against bacteria infection-related ulcers, the best thing you can do is make sure that food is properly cooked and that you always wash your hands. If you are a smoker or heavy alcohol consumer, these are two habits to ditch if you want to prevent ulcers from forming. You should always stop taking NSAIDs.
If I do have stomach ulcers, how are they treated?
How we decide to treat your stomach ulcers will really depend on the root cause. Of course, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as ulcers can become serious if left untreated. If ulcers are the result of a bacterial infection, we will prescribe antibiotics, as well as other medications that affect stomach acid production.
If you are experiencing new or worsening stomach pains, it’s always a good idea to get professional medical care to find out what might be going on. Trust in the gastrointestinal experts at Renaissance Gastroenterology in Edinburg and Weslaco, TX.
Find out the warning signs associated with colon cancer and the best way to screen for this serious condition.
Colon cancer is something that you may not think about but after the age of 50, but our Weslaco and Edinburg, TX, gastroenterologist, Dr. S. Murthy Badiga, recommends getting routine colonoscopies to screen for polyps or other growths that could be cancerous. Here are some of the symptoms associated with colon cancer and the diagnostic testing used to determine the cause of your symptoms:
Symptoms of colon cancer include:
- An increase in diarrhea, constipation or changes in your stool that last for at least a month or more
- Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Feeling as if your bowels aren’t completely empty
- Unexpected or unexplained weight loss
- Feeling tired or weak
It’s important to know that many people in the early stages of colon cancer don’t even experience symptoms. When symptoms do manifest they can differ based on where the cancer is located in their intestines; however, if you do notice blood in the stool or any changes in your bowels, then you need to make an appointment with our Weslaco and Edinburg GI doctor as soon as possible for a colon cancer screening.
Who should get a colon cancer screening?
While those who are experiencing symptoms should always come to us for an evaluation, routine screenings should also begin at around 50 years old regardless of whether you are experiencing symptoms or not. If you have a family history of colon cancer or if you have other risk factors that increase your chances of developing colon cancer, then you may need regular screenings more often. Risk factors for colon cancer include:
- A family history of colon cancer
- Having had polyps or colorectal cancer in the past
- Being over the age of 50
- Being African American
- Having certain genetic syndromes
- Maintaining a diet that is high in fat but low in fiber
- Smoking or using tobacco products
- Having been diagnosed with diabetes
- Leading an inactive lifestyle
- Being obese or overweight
- Being a heavy drinker
If you are experiencing any symptoms, do not hesitate to call our Weslaco or Edinburg, TX, offices to schedule an appointment. Colon cancer is serious but can be treated effectively when caught during its earliest stages.
How your gastroenterologist in Edinburg can help
Chronic acid reflux is an uncomfortable and all-too-common condition. Chronic acid reflux is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, over 60 million Americans suffer some symptoms of chronic acid reflux or GERD. Dr. S. Murthy Badiga at Renaissance Gastroenterology in Edinburg, TX wants to help you get relief from your symptoms.
Acid reflux is caused by excess stomach acid coming up through your esophagus. Your body has a muscle which functions to close off the esophagus from the stomach, preventing stomach acid from coming up your esophagus. When the esophagus sphincter muscle isn’t functioning properly, it will stay open partially, allowing stomach acid to enter your esophagus. The uncomfortable burning feeling in your throat is a classic symptom of chronic acid reflux.
Some common signs and symptoms of chronic acid reflux include:
- Chronic bad breath
- Throat problems and pain
- Tooth erosion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Wheezing or dry coughing
Dr. Badiga wants you to know about a few simple tips that can minimize the symptoms caused by acid reflux. Remember to:
- Avoid lying down after eating, stay upright for at least two to three hours after meals
- Avoid eating right before bed and avoid spicy foods
- Eat smaller meals several times daily, rather than three large meals
- Eat healthy to maintain a normal weight
- Avoid putting pressure on your abdomen from certain exercises or wearing belts
- Stop smoking and using tobacco products
- Try taking over-the-counter antacids to eliminate excess stomach acid
If you continue to suffer from chronic acid reflux, it’s time to visit your gastroenterologist in Edinburg for an evaluation. Dr. Badiga can recommend several effective treatments including medications, lifestyle changes and diet.
Don’t wait to get treatment because early treatment can lead to a better outcome for you! Call Dr. Badiga at Renaissance Gastroenterology in Edinburg, TX. Get some relief from chronic acid reflux by calling today!
Hemorrhoids are a big pain in the butt, literally. They are particularly frustrating to manage because they're located in a place that you use very often. If you have recurring issues with hemorrhoids, take the time to learn more about what causes them, how you can treat them and how to avoid them altogether.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are painful veiny lumps that develop around the anus. They form due to pressure on the veins around the rectum and pelvis area. You can have either external or internal hemorrhoids (or both). Internal hemorrhoids develop inside of the anus, while external ones grow outside of the opening. Both are extremely painful. You can clearly tell when you have external hemorrhoids because you can see or feel them bulging from the anal area. If you see blood, or mucus, in your stool or the toilet after going to the bathroom, that is a possible sign of internal hemorrhoids.
Straining when having a bowel movement mostly causes hemorrhoids. Pushing hard to expel feces causes those veins to enlarge and become swollen. So if you have ongoing issues with constipation, this could be a chronic issue. Having a baby can also cause hemorrhoids because the mother must strain to push out her baby. Sitting for long periods of time in an uncomfortable position, such as on a rock or the cement, could also put undue pressure on the anal muscles, causing hemorrhoids.
While hemorrhoids do not usually present a serious medical concern, they can cause a number of negative side effects related to the pain. Knowing that a bowel movement will be painful could make you avoid moving your bowels regularly. Also, just sitting at a desk for work could become more of a chore than you ever imagine.
An over-the-counter or prescribed hemorrhoid cream is the usual solution for hemorrhoids. The cream slowly reduces the swelling. In more serious situations, a doctor may have to place bands at the base of the protruding veins to reduce their size slowly or perform a surgery. A hemorrhoidectomy is the traditional surgery, where the tissue is removed while a hemorrhoidopexy staples the tissue in a particular position so that hemorrhoids no longer form around the anus.
Have a Comfortable Seat
You may be able to manage most hemorrhoid pain without going to the doctor with natural solutions. Try sitting in a bath of warm water (also called a sitz bath) for about a half an hour. Do not sit on hard surfaces or even on chairs that are firm -- sit on a pillow or a doughnut. If possible, do not sit at all -- lay down on your side instead while dealing with a hemorrhoid. Avoid straining when going to the bathroom and to avoid future problems with constipation, eat foods high in fiber and exercise more.
Visit your gastroenterologist for further diagnosis and treatment of your hemorrhoids.
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