The Endoscopy Department at Hamilton Medical Center is proud to provide superior care for patients and physicians in Northwest Georgia. Hamilton’s Endoscopy Department offers the expert diagnostic services that our patients deserve. Our physicians and staff are dedicated to treating each patient with sensitivity and respect. The safety, comfort and privacy of our patients are our most important goals.
To learn more about Hamilton's Endoscopy Services, call 706-272-6559.
Screening for colorectal cancer:
There are a variety of different screening methods available, however, colonoscopy is the only one that can inspect the entire inside of the colon for signs of cancer and, at the same time, remove or biopsy polyps. The American Cancer Society recommends that both men and women have a Colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50.
Persons with any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors should begin screening procedures at an earlier age and be screened more often:
What is a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is the gold standard in screening and diagnosis of colon cancer. Colonoscopy not only allows physicians to see the entire colon (large intestine) but also provides the opportunity to potentially remove precancerous polyps before they can become malignant, and to take biopsies of any lesions detected. The value of colonoscopy is so widely recognized today that most health insurers now cover the cost of colorectal cancer screenings utilizing this procedure.
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than 30 minutes, although it may take a little longer if a polyp is removed or biopsied. To ease any discomfort, medication is given to help an individual relax and feel sleepy. During the test, a doctor examines the lining of the colon using a slender, flexible and lighted tube called a colonoscopy, which has a tiny video camera that sends images to a monitor for the physician to view. After the exam, most people feel normal once the sedatives wear off and can return home to rest.
Reasons for the Procedure
A colonoscopy may be used to examine colon polyps, tumors, ulceration, inflammation, diverticula (pouches), strictures (narrowing), and foreign objects within the colon. It may also be used to determine the cause of unexplained chronic diarrhea or gastrointestinal bleeding or to evaluate the colon after cancer treatment. Colonoscopy may be indicated when the results of a barium enema and/or sigmoidoscopy warrant further examination of the colon. There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a colonoscopy.
The Endoscopy suites at Hamilton Medical Center consist of 13 private rooms, four Endoscopy procedure rooms, a Bronchoscopy room and a motility lab. The Endoscopy Unit provides a waiting area specifically designed for the families of Endoscopy patients only. We have the capability of doing Moderate Sedation with Endoscopy staff nurses or working with Anesthesia to provide Monitored Anesthesia Care. The Endoscopy Unit is a fully self contained unit with highly competent staff here to meet the needs of the community.
Other Methods of Colon Cancer Prevention
In addition to having regular screenings, there may be other ways to help prevent colorectal cancer, including getting a minimum of 30 minutes of daily physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating calcium-rich foods, and limiting meat.
Check out A.D.A.M.'s health information for additional information on colonoscopy.