Family Practice Specialists of Richmond, Virginia offers high quality and efficient diagnostic care services that include:
What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to examine the entire length of the large intestine. Colonoscopy can assist in identifying problems with the colon, such as early signs of cancer, inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. Colonoscopy is also used to screen for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
An endoscope – a long, flexible, lighted tube (also called a colonoscope), is inserted through the rectum into the colon. In addition to allowing visualization of the internal colon, the colonoscope enables the physician to irrigate, suction, inject air, and access the bowel with surgical instruments. During a colonoscopy, the physician may remove tissue for further examination and possibly treat any problems that are discovered.
Why should I get a colonoscopy?
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.
Screening guidelines for colorectal cancer:
Colorectal cancer screening guidelines for early detection from the American Cancer Society recommend that beginning at age 50, both men and women should follow one of the examination schedules below:
- Annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG) every 5 years
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
What is an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy?
(EGD, Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Upper GI Endoscopy, Gastroscopy, Esophagoscopy)
Upper endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the physician to diagnose and treat problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The physician uses a long, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope. The endoscope is guided through the patient’s mouth and throat, then through the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the intestine). The physician can examine the inside of these organs and detect abnormalities. An instrument may be inserted through the endoscope which can retrieve the biopsy of the tissues.
What should I expect during the procedure?
Your throat will be sprayed with a topical anesthetic, and you will be placed in a comfortable position throughout the procedure. When you are drowsy, the endoscope is passed through the mouth to examine the upper GI tract. Many patients fall asleep during the procedure and it is extremely well tolerated. The scope will not interfere with breathing, and gagging is usually prevented by the topical anesthetic.
What happens after the EGD?
You will rest until most of the side effects of the medication wear off. The physician will then go over the findings and results of the procedure. Alcoholic beverages should be avoided and patients taking tranquilizers may need special instructions. Otherwise, a normal diet may be resumed. Driving is permitted 4 to 8 hours after the procedure.
What is a colposcopy?
The purpose of a pap smear is to look for any abnormal cells on the cervix. By brushing the surface of the cervix, the physician will be able to gather cells to determine if any abnormal cells exist within the organ. If any abnormal cells are detected, it is possible for the patient can develop cervical cancer, which would require us to take a closer look at the cervix. Colposcopy, or “colpo”, is the magnified examination of the cervix.
How should I prepare for a colposcopy?
- Schedule the exam at a time when you are not menstruating
- 24 hours before a colposcopy- no sexual intercourse, intravaginal medications, or tampons
- You may take ibuprofen 600-800mg with food an hour before a colposcopy to help with cramping during the exam.
What happens after a colposcopy?
- A follow-up appointment is necessary a couple of weeks after the colposcopy, but you may return earlier if you experience any complications
- Monitor for signs & symptoms of infection (fever, pain, or excessive discharge)
- No sexual intercourse, tampons, or soaking in water (in a bath or pool- but showering is okay) for 48 hours after a colposcopy
- A small amount of spotting or discharge is normal. We suggest wearing a pantiliner for few days to protect your clothing.
It important for you to contact us if you are unable to come in for either your scheduled colposcopy or your follow-up appointment.
What is a nasopharyngeal examination?
A nasopharyngeal examination is a procedure done to screen for any sign of nasopharyngeal cancer. The nasopharynx is the uppermost region of the throat behind the nose. It reaches from the base of the skull to the upper surface of the soft palate.
The first step of a nasopharyngeal exam is physical examination, where the doctor will feel the upper neck area for any lumps. A closer and more accurate examination of the nasopharynx requires placing little mirrors and lights onto the back of the throat, which enables doctors to see the nasopharynx. Another procedure that examines the nasopharynx is via the insertion of a fiber-optic scope through the nose to examine the lining of the nasopharynx.
How can I prepare for a nasopharyngeal exam?
The best way to prepare for this procedure, as with all examinations, is to make a list of any and all medications that you are currently taking, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing.