Understand everything you could need to know about getting a colonoscopy at our New York office.
Whether you or someone you know is getting a colonoscopy for the first time, chances are good that you may have questions about this upcoming procedure. Our New York gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, is available in-office to answer any questions you may have so that you feel comfortable and relaxed during your next colonoscopy. For now, though, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about colonoscopies, and their answers:
Q. What is a colonoscopy?
A. This procedure allows our GI doctor to be able to look at the lining and health of the colon with the help of a camera, which is guided into the large intestines through the rectum. This exam is often performed to check for early signs of colorectal cancer.
Q. Why is a colonoscopy performed?
A. A colonoscopy can be both a preventive and diagnostic procedure. Everyone over the age of 50 years old should start getting routine colonoscopies. Even if you appear to be healthy and don’t have any risk factors, a colonoscopy is necessary for older men and women.
Of course, you may also require a colonoscopy if you are dealing with certain symptoms such as,
- Rectal bleeding
- Unexplained abdominal pain
- Changes in bowel movements
- Persistent diarrhea or constipation
- Unexplained weight loss
Q. What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
A. During the earliest stages, colon cancer usually doesn’t present any symptoms, which is why getting routine colonoscopies is important for everyone. In fact, getting a colonoscopy is the best way to prevent colon cancer from developing in the first place, for we can easily remove precancerous polyps during the procedure. As colon cancer progresses, you may notice changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or rectal bleeding.
Q. How often should I get a colonoscopy?
A. Once you turn 50 years old you should schedule your first routine colonoscopy with us. Of course, if you have any risk factors, you may want to schedule your colonoscopy earlier. Risk factors include,
- A family or personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle
- A poor diet that is high in fat
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
If your colonoscopy results are negative, you may not need to undergo another colonoscopy for 10 years; however, if your results are positive (meaning that we found abnormal changes to the lining of your colon or polyps) then you may need to get a colonoscopy more regularly.
If you need to schedule a colonoscopy or if you are dealing with any gastrointestinal symptoms that have you concerned, then it’s time to call our New York gastroenterology office to schedule a checkup. We are available at (212) 599-7910!
What your gastroenterologist wants you to know
The right time to get a colonoscopy is if you are over 50 years old, or if you have a family history of colon cancer. There are also signs and symptoms to pay attention to which may indicate the need for a colonoscopy. You should see your gastroenterologist to schedule a colonoscopy if you have:
- Rectal bleeding
- Black, tarry stools which may indicate blood in your stool
- A family history of intestinal growths or polyps
- Chronic, recurrent constipation or diarrhea
- Chronic, recurrent pain in your abdomen
A colonoscopy is the primary screening tool to determine if you have colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy also helps to diagnose colorectal cancer at an early stage, when it is more easily treatable. Don’t delay having a colonoscopy because the longer you wait, the more serious colorectal cancer becomes.
The American Cancer Society states that colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this country, with over 49,000 people dying from the disease this year alone.
A colonoscopy typically requires you to be sedated. Along, ultra-thin flexible tube is inserted into your rectum and guided up through your intestines. The tube contains a camera at one end which allows your gastroenterologist to view your colon, remove polyps or take a small sample of tissue for biopsy.
When you come in for your colonoscopy, be sure to bring a driver with you to take you home, and plan on spending 2 to 3 hours in the office. The procedure takes about 45 minutes, and additional time is required for you to recover from sedation.
Remember that early diagnosis is made possible by having a colonoscopy and that early diagnosis is critical to start early treatment. You don’t want to be a cancer statistic, so if you are over 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, take the time to schedule your colonoscopy. Protect your health by calling today!
Find out whether it might be time to consider getting a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by our New York gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert to detect colorectal cancer. To this day, a colonoscopy is still the most effective way to look for subtle changes in the lining of the colon and rectum that could be early warning signs of cancer.
No matter whether you are a man or a woman, a colonoscopy will become part of your medical screening once you reach the age of 50. Depending on the results of your first colonoscopy, we can determine how regularly you will need to come in for your next one. If the results come back normal, you will most likely not need a colonoscopy for another 10 years.
Of course, a colonoscopy isn’t just used to detect colorectal cancer, it can also detect other gastrointestinal issues, as well. For example, if there is an ulcer or bleeding in the lower intestines, this procedure will help our New York GI doctor detect the issue and sometimes treat the problem during the colonoscopy, itself.
So, what symptoms may warrant getting a colonoscopy?
Here are some warning signs that should have you calling us for an evaluation,
- Bowel habit changes: This means anything from diarrhea and constipation to blood in the stool. If your stool is extremely narrow this could also be a sign of a blockage.
- Abdominal cramps: While everyone deals with gas-related cramps every once in a while, if this is something that occurs regularly, you will need to talk to our gastroenterologist.
- Unexplained weight loss: Sure, shedding a few unwanted pounds can be wonderful; however, if you find that you suddenly lost about 10 pounds without trying, then this could be a warning sign of a serious illness.
- You have risk factors: If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis then you are an increased risk for colon cancer. Furthermore, smokers, as well as those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure are also at an elevated risk.
If you just turned 50 years old or you are experiencing unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s important that you have a digestive specialist in New York who can provide you with the diagnostic and screening procedures you need. Call Dr. Daniel Alpert today at (212) 599-7910 to schedule your next appointment!
Nausea and vomiting. We've all experienced these GI symptoms, and when they happen to you or a loved one, you want relief. New York, NY, board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert treats symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Usually related to an underlying condition, these gastric upsets can be controlled. However, you also should know when to call Dr. Alpert about them to avoid more serious complications.
Treating nausea and vomiting
Both nausea and vomiting can occur when the lining of the stomach or GI tract may be irritated by certain foods, medications, alcohol and smoking as well as an underlying infectious, inflammatory or malignant process. The characteristic queasiness of nausea may be accompanied or caused by vertigo, or dizziness. Often, nausea is followed by vomiting, or the sudden (and sometimes repeated) emptying of stomach contents.
Nausea may resolve on its own, particularly when it's caused by the hormonal surges associated with early pregnancy. When severe, however, your New York gastroenterologist may prescribe medication to prevent or stop severe nausea and vomiting.
If vomiting does occur, Dr. Alpert recommends some tried and true methods of soothing that irritated GI tract, controlling fever and avoiding dangerous dehydration. They are:
- Rest and elevation of the head
- Slowly reintroducing fluids such as water, sports drinks, flat soda pop, broth, or juice
- Monitoring fever (call the doctor if fever is persistent and over 102 for a child under six or 100 or more for an older child, teen, or adult, say experts at the Cleveland Clinic)
- Monitoring urine output, level of consciousness, pain, pulse rate, and diarrhea
When vomiting stops completely, you may re-introduce bland foods such as rice and crackers. Eat them in small amounts as tolerated.
If it's persistent...
Dr. Alpert may order various GI tests, such as an endoscopy, to understand underlying causes for nausea and vomiting. Some nausea and vomiting indicate a medical emergency, and you should get to the nearest hospital ER as soon as possible. These conditions include:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Food poisoning
Whenever you are concerned that your GI symptoms are severe, unusual or not responsive to typical interventions, call Dr. Alpert's office right away.
Know the reasons for your nausea and vomiting and how to relieve them. For a consultation with Dr. Alpert and his caring team in New York, NY, please call (212) 599-7910.
Are you tired of living with heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms? Our New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, can share some information about the condition and discusses acid reflux treatments that may be helpful.
Why do I have acid reflux?
Acid reflux symptoms occur when the sensitive lining of your esophagus becomes irritated by stomach acids. Normally, these acids remain in your stomach, where they break down proteins in foods. If stomach acids flow back into your esophagus, you may experience a variety symptoms, including heartburn, nausea, bloating, belching, bad breath, excessive saliva, and a lump-in-the-throat sensation.
You may be more likely to experience acid reflux if the esophageal sphincter that separates your stomach from your esophagus doesn't close properly or is weak. Other risk factors include exercising soon after eating, wearing tight clothing or belts, obesity, pregnancy, smoking, or drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
What treatment options are available for acid reflux?
Prevention is one of the easiest way to avoid acid reflux symptoms. If you notice that you often experience heartburn after you eat certain foods, such as onions or spicy or fatty foods, eliminating these foods from your diet can be helpful. It's also a good idea to wait about two hours after eating before lying down or exercising.
Over-the-counter antacids can help neutralize the acids that cause your pain, but antacids alone may not be enough to control your symptoms, particularly if you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). The condition occurs if you experience acid reflux symptoms at least twice a week or feel that your symptoms interfere with your life.
When you visit our New York office, we can recommend a variety of over-the-counter or prescription medications that can reduce acid production or help strengthen your esophageal sphincter. Before we suggest a particular medication regimen, we may recommend an endoscopy, a test that provides an up-close view of the lining of your esophagus and stomach.
During the test, a thin, flexible, lighted scope that contains a miniature camera is inserted into your mouth. As the scope passes through your esophagus and stomach, it sends images to a digital monitor. An endoscopy helps us identify any issues that may be causing or contributing to your symptoms and ensures that we offer treatment options that will relieve your symptoms.
Don't let acid reflux control your life. Call our New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Alpert, at (212) 599-7910 to schedule your appointment.
Find out everything you could ever need to know about this preventive and diagnostic procedure.
No matter whether you are dealing with unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms or you just reached the age of 50, there are many reasons why our New York, NY, gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert will recommend getting a colonoscopy. Of course, we know you might have questions, and we are here to address some of the most popular questions out there regarding this GI procedure.
Q. What is a colonoscopy?
A. A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows our New York GI doctor to examine the colon and rectum to not only screen for colorectal cancer but also to provide a diagnosis for certain gastrointestinal symptoms you may be experiencing.
Through the use of a thin tube, which is inserted into the rectum and carefully guided through the lower GI tract, we are able to capture real-time images to inspect the overall health of the colon.
Q. Why is a colonoscopy recommended?
A. Once you turn 50 years old it’s highly recommended that everyone get a colonoscopy regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms or not. A colonoscopy is truly the best tool for being able to detect colorectal cancer.
Of course, a colonoscopy isn’t just a screening tool. It can also be used as a diagnostic measure to determine the cause of unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal pain or sudden weight loss.
Q. What does a colonoscopy procedure entail?
A. Before a colonoscopy, Dr. Alpert will provide you with a solution or pill that you will need to take about 24 hours before your procedure to help fully clear the bowels. This is a necessary step before getting a colonoscopy.
During the colonoscopy, an IV is started and sedation and pain medication will be administered through the IV. While the medication is not designed to put you to sleep you may feel drowsy or not remember the procedure at all. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to perform (it may take longer if we need to remove polyps) and you’ll be able to go home right after the procedure.
Q. How often should I get a routine colonoscopy?
A. If your test results come back normal you may not need to get a colonoscopy for another 10 years. Of course, if you have risk factors or you’ve had polyps in the past then you may need to come in every five years.
If you still have questions about getting a colonoscopy in New York, NY, or if you are dealing with GI distress, then it’s time to call Dr. Alpert today to get the care you need for a happy, healthy gut.
Are you suffering from stomach pain? Has it become intolerable?
There are a variety of reasons as to why you may be suffering from stomach pain but it's not something that you should have to live with. If you want to stop the pain, contact your New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, who can help you.
What is Stomach Pain?
Stomach pain is not uncommon and almost everyone feels it at some point in their life. Usually, stomach pain isn't harmful, but that most certainly is not always the case. While diagnosing and treating simple problems isn't difficult, when it comes to the serious cases, you need to recognize their symptoms to know when to call your gastroenterologist.
Red Flag Symptoms:
- Persistent constipation
- Blood in the stools
- Persistent nausea
- Persistent vomiting
- Vomiting blood
- Severe tenderness of the belly
- Jaundice, which is the yellow discoloration of skin
- Swelling of the abdomen
Most Common Causes of Stomach Pain:
- Stomach virus
- Menstrual cramps
- Food poisoning
- Food allergies
- Lactose intolerance
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Kidney stones
- Crohn’s disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Screening and Diagnosis:
- Blood Tests, which consists of a complete blood count.
- X-ray and Imaging Tests, which are used to take pictures of the interior of your body.
- Endoscopy, which is a special, flexible instrument that gives doctors an image of your digestive tract.
If you are suffering from stomach pain, or have any questions or concerns, you should contact Dr. Daniel Alpert. Just call his New York, NY office at (212) 599-7910 today to schedule an appointment.
Have a question for our New York, NY gastroenterologist? We are here to answer some of your most popular questions.
The GI tract can be rather confusing sometimes. You may be dealing with stomach cramps or have trouble with heartburn. If so, you may end up coming up with a laundry list of questions for our GI doctor. Well, now we are here to provide you with some of the answers you’ve been looking for.
Q. Why should I see a gastroenterologist?
A. If you’ve talked to your family physician about some of the gastrointestinal issues you’ve been experiencing (e.g. heartburn; diarrhea; abdominal pain), then chances are good that your doctor will refer you to a gastroenterologist. You may also want to visit us if you have a family history of colon cancer or if you are over the age of 50 (to start getting routine colon cancer screenings).
Q. What problems can a gastroenterologist treat?
A. As you probably already know, a gastroenterologist is a medical professional who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions of the gastrointestinal system as well as digestive organs. This includes everything from the esophagus and stomach to the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Q. Should I get a colonoscopy from my New York, NY gastroenterologist?
A. Any man or woman over the age of 50 should start getting routine colonoscopies. If results come back normal, then you may not need to come in for another colonoscopy for another 10 years. Of course, if you have a family history of colon cancer, if you are African American or you have other risk factors, then we may determine that you should come in more regularly and earlier for screenings.
Q. What are some ways to treat heartburn?
A. While some people may be able to remedy their heartburn by taking an over-the-counter medication, if these medications aren’t doing the trick then it’s time you turned to us for a prescription medication that could help reduce flare-ups. Of course, avoiding acidic or spicy foods and eating smaller portions can also help reduce your heartburn symptoms.
Q. How can I prevent colon cancer?
A. There are many easy lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health and reduce your chances of colon cancer including limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Everyone, no matter their risk level, should be screened for colon cancer.
If you have any other questions that we didn’t address here, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and your New York, NY gastroenterologist a call. If you need to sit down and talk to us, we would be happy to schedule a consultation for you.
Welcome to the Blog of Daniel J. Alpert, M.D.
Daniel J. Alpert, M.D. would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about gastroenterology and our practice.
At Daniel J. Alpert, M.D. we believe that educated patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding the health of their digestive system. Our blog was designed to provide you with the latest gastroenterology developments and valuable health advice from our dedicated team.
Daniel J. Alpert, M.D. hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper digestive health care and treatments.
We welcome all comments and questions.
-- Daniel J. Alpert, M.D.
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