How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy preparation requires a patient to empty the colon. Otherwise, residue in the colon may obscure a doctor’s view of the colon and rectum during the exam.

A doctor provides a patient with detailed colonoscopy preparation instructions. In some instances, a doctor may offer one or more of the following recommendations to ensure a patient can empty the colon prior to a colonoscopy:

  • Follow a special diet. A doctor may request a patient stick to a diet of clean foods for at least three to four days before a colonoscopy. These foods include seedless fruits, lean meats, eggs, white bread and pasta; all of these foods are rich in fiber and help cleanse the colon. Additionally, a patient is unable to eat solid foods the day before a colonoscopy. A patient can drink liquids like coffee, tea and water at this time. Also, a patient likely won’t be able to drink any liquids after midnight the night prior to the exam.
  • Take a laxative. A laxative helps loosen stools, increase bowel movements and empty the colon. It may be taken as a pill or liquid. Oftentimes, a doctor requests a patient take a laxative the night before a colonoscopy or as a split-dose both the night before and the morning of the exam.
  • Utilize an enema kit. An enema helps cleanse the colon and alleviate constipation. Enema kits are available that make it easy to take an enema at home. In certain cases, a doctor recommends a patient use an enema kit the night before a colonoscopy or at least a few hours prior to the procedure.
  • Modify your medications. Some medications may require a patient to temporarily adjust his or her dosages or stop taking the medications in the days leading up to a colonoscopy. These medications include high blood pressure or diabetes medications, supplements that contain iron or aspirin that thins the blood.

Preparing for a colonoscopy may seem challenging at first, but a doctor can provide patient guidance and support in the days before a colonoscopy. And if a patient has any concerns or questions about colonoscopy preparation, a doctor is ready to respond to them.

Colonoscopy Preparation Tips

 There are many things that a patient can do to streamline the process of preparing for a colonoscopy. These include:

  1. Make a Plan

 A doctor may provide lots of information prior to a colonoscopy, and the sheer volume of colonoscopy preparation information may be overwhelming. However, a patient who takes the time to review a doctor’s colonoscopy preparation instructions can address any concerns or questions right away. Best of all, this patient can make a plan to follow a doctor’s instructions and increase the likelihood of a successful colonoscopy.

  1. Get Ready for a Laxative

 The mere thought of taking a laxative before a colonoscopy may cause stress, but there are many things that a patient can do to prepare for a laxative. If a patient is required to take a liquid laxative, it often helps to mix the laxative with a sports drink or other flavored beverages; that way, a patient can reduce or eliminate the unpleasant taste associated with a laxative.

It also is important to remember that once a laxative starts working, a patient may experience frequent diarrhea, cramps and bloating. Thus, a patient will want to do everything possible to stay comfortable in the bathroom at this time. Applying diaper cream before diarrhea begins may help alleviate pain and discomfort. Keeping moist or medicated wipes on hand enables a patient to clean himself or herself as needed. And if a patient keeps reading material in the bathroom, he or she can stay entertained until a laxative’s effects subside.

  1. Focus on the End Results

 The final hours prior to a colonoscopy can be tough, even for a patient who considers himself or herself to be a strong, resilient individual. When the going gets tough, it is important to remember why a patient is choosing to undergo a colonoscopy in the first place.

A colonoscopy allows an individual to identify colon cancer and other intestinal issues. It enables a patient to visualize ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, inflammation and bleeding in the large intestine and the distal part of the small bowel. If a doctor finds any growths during a colonoscopy, he or she can work with a patient to determine the best-possible treatment.

Reasons to Schedule a Colonoscopy

A man or woman can undergo a colonoscopy to detect colorectal cancer, i.e. cancer that starts at the colon or rectum, in its early stages. By doing so, a patient may be able to identify colorectal cancer before it spreads throughout the body.

American Cancer Society (ACS) notes colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States. Furthermore, an estimated 97,220 new cases of colon cancer and 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to ACS.

Colorectal cancer is problematic, but it is treatable. ACS points out the death rate from colorectal cancer in men and women in the United States has been declining for several decades. In fact, there are currently more than 1 million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States, and this number may continue to rise thanks in part to colonoscopies.

Ultimately, a colonoscopy offers a great opportunity for a man or women to track colorectal cancer and intestinal problems before they escalate. The procedure allows a doctor to explore potential causes of abdominal pain, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea and rectal bleeding. Plus, a colonoscopy is generally a safe, effective procedure with minimal risk.

A doctor may recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years for men and women 50 years of age and older. The risk of colon cancer and related problems is higher in African Americans than others, and as such, a doctor may recommend an African American man or woman undergo regular colon cancer screenings starting at the age of 45. If an individual has a family history of colon cancer or similar issues, he or she also may benefit from regular colonoscopies starting at age 45.

Schedule a Colonoscopy with La Peer Health Systems Today

A colonoscopy can make a world of difference, yet preparing for a colon cancer screening sometimes is difficult. Fortunately, La Peer Health Systems is happy to help men and women get ready for colonoscopies. Our gastroenterology department employs friendly, knowledgeable surgeons who can provide comprehensive insights into colonoscopies and colonoscopy preparation. As a result, we will guide you through all aspects of a colonoscopy and ensure you are prepared for this procedure. To find out more about our colonoscopies and other GI procedures, please contact us today at 855.360.9119.

When You Should Consider a Total Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement helps individuals address hip pain due to arthritis, injuries, pinched nerves or other problems. It involves the removal and replacement of damaged bone and cartilage in the hip with prosthetic components.

Millions of people have undergone total hip replacement surgery. There are several instances where this type of hip surgery is recommended, and these are:

· Hip pain makes it difficult to bend, walk or perform everyday activities
· Hip pain is ongoing and makes it tough to rest
· Hip stiffness limits an individual’s ability to lift or move the leg
· Anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy or walking supports are used to treat hip pain yet fail to deliver the optimal results

Many hip replacement surgery options are available, such as:

1. Traditional Hip Replacement Surgery

Traditional hip replacement surgery is intended for patients who are dealing with severe hip arthritis or joint damage that cannot be remedied with medication or other less-invasive procedures. It is most commonly used to address osteoarthritis, a chronic joint condition that causes cartilage or cushioning between joints to break down, resulting in pain, stiffness and swelling. Additionally, hip replacement surgery may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, hip fractures and hip pain.

With hip replacement surgery, a patient can replace damaged portions of the hip joint. During a hip replacement procedure, an orthopedic surgeon makes an incision over the hip joint; the incision may be several inches long. Next, the surgeon replaces a portion of the hip joint or the entire hip joint with a cemented or uncemented prosthesis. A cemented prosthesis is attached to the bone with surgical cement. Comparatively, an uncemented prosthesis connects to the bone with a porous surface, and the bone gradually attaches to the prosthesis over time. In some instances, a surgeon may use a combination of cemented and uncemented prostheses.

The benefits of total hip replacement can be significant. In a recent NIH study of 49 osteoarthritis patients, 40 patients reported being pain-free after hip replacement surgery. Also, most study participants were better able to perform certain activities of daily life, and their range of hip movement and mobility improved moderately following surgery.

2. Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

Minimally invasive hip replacement is a variation of traditional hip replacement surgery. Like a standard hip replacement procedure, minimally invasive hip replacement involves the use of a prosthesis to replace a hip joint or a portion of the hip joint. However, during a minimally invasive hip replacement, a surgeon makes an incision of 3 to 6 inches. This generally results in less muscle damage and scarring and faster healing in comparison to traditional hip replacement surgery.

With minimally invasive hip replacement, a surgeon makes a small incision over the outside of the hip. Then, the surgeon detaches or splits the muscles and tendons from the hip; this is done to a lesser extent than in a traditional hip replacement procedure. The surgeon also repairs the tendons before inserting the prosthesis. This often helps reduce the risk of hip dislocation.

3. Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is ideal for younger patients who have strong, healthy bones. Or, patients with advanced arthritis may be candidates for this type of hip surgery.

A hip resurfacing patient can reshape the damaged ball of the hip joint and cap it with a metal prosthesis. During hip resurfacing, a surgeon makes an incision in the thigh and dislocates the femoral head out of the socket. He or she then trims the femoral head and cements a metal cap over the prepared femoral head. The surgeon next removes the cartilage that lines the socket, and a metal cup is then pushed into the socket; this socket is held in place by friction between the bone and metal. After the cup is in place, the femoral head is relocated back into the socket, and the surgeon closes the incision.

Hip resurfacing requires only about 1.5 to 3 hours to complete. It has been shown to reduce the risk of hip dislocation. Plus, various studies have revealed patients’ walking patterns are more natural after hip resurfacing versus traditional hip replacement.

Other Hip Surgery Options

Patients who experience hip pain may be candidates for hip replacement surgery, as well as other hip surgical procedures. In addition to total hip replacement, common hip surgical procedures that may be used to address hip pain include:

1. Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that has a low risk of complications. It addresses joint conditions or injuries of the hip, including hip arthritis, hip joint infections and cartilage tears.

To perform a hip arthroscopy procedure, a surgeon first puts a patient’s leg into traction. The surgeon pulls the hip away from the socket to ensure he or she can view the entire joint, insert instruments and administer treatment. After traction is applied, two or three small incisions are made in the hip. At this point, the surgeon uses an arthroscope and other surgical instruments to repair any labral tears, deformities or misalignment of the femoral head or inflamed tissue.

Upon successful completion of hip arthroscopy, the surgeon inserts pins into the re-shaped bone. These pins ensure the bone stays in place to accommodate the correct fit of the femoral head and hip socket.

2. Hip Fracture Surgery

Hip fracture surgery is used to treat stress fractures and breaks caused by degenerative conditions. It may involve stabilizing broken bones with surgical screws, nails, rods or plates. Or, hip fracture surgery may require replacement of the entire hip joint or a portion of it with artificial parts.

Typically, a surgeon will use X-rays or an MRI to diagnose the root cause of a hip fracture. The surgeon then will determine the best hip fracture surgery option based on the diagnosis.

3. Hip Osteotomy

Hip osteotomy corrects a deformed or misaligned hip socket, as well as hip dysplasia, mild hip arthritis or a deformed or improperly formed femur. It involves cutting and realigning the hip bone into a new position and placing healthy cartilage in the weight-bearing area of the joint.

During hip osteotomy, a surgeon cuts the pelvis around the hip joint and moves it into a position that helps a patient alleviate pain. Once the hip is repositioned, it is held in place with screws. It takes about six to 12 months for a patient to recover after hip osteotomy. The screws in the hip can be removed, but this is not usually required.

4. Hip Bursitis Surgery

Bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursae, jelly-like sacs in the hips and other parts of the body. Bursae are located between bones and soft tissues and contain a small amount of fluid that enables the sacs to act as cushions that help limit friction. Two bursae are located in the hip: one that covers the bony point of the hip, and another that is found on the inside of the hip. If one or both of these bursae become inflamed, an individual may experience hip pain.

Hip bursitis surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves arthroscopic removal of a bursa. A surgeon uses an arthroscope to guide surgical instruments in the hip and remove the bursa. Removal of bursae does not cause permanent hip damage, and after surgery, a patient can use the hip normally without bursae.

5. Hip Dislocation Surgery

An individual who experiences a car accident, serious fall or sports injury may suffer hip dislocation. Thanks to hip dislocation surgery, a person can manipulate the thigh and leg to realign the femur into the hip socket.

Hip dislocation surgery simultaneously treats a broken hip bone and hip dislocation. In most cases, hip dislocation patients suffer posterior dislocation. When this happens, the thigh bone is pushed backward out of the socket, the lower leg moves into a fixed position and the knee and foot rotate toward the middle of the body. Anterior dislocation also may occur. In this instance, the thigh bone moves forward out of the socket, the hip becomes slightly bent and the leg rotates toward the middle of the body. Both posterior and anterior hip dislocation may cause damage to the ligaments, labrum, muscles and soft tissues that hold the femoral head in place. Nerves surrounding the hip may be damaged as well.

Choose La Peer Health Systems for Hip Surgery

Hip pain is a common problem that can affect both children and adults, and it may hinder a person’s ability to walk, play sports and perform everyday activities. Hip pain occurs for many reasons, and without proper diagnosis and treatment, it may worsen over time.

La Peer Health Systems helps patients in the Beverly Hills area address a wide range of hip conditions. We offer minimally invasive, state-of-the-art procedures to treat hip ailments, and our highly trained and specialized orthopedic surgeons can work with you to determine how to help you alleviate hip pain. To find out more about our hip surgery options, please contact us today at 855.360.9119 to schedule a consultation.

The Importance of Getting an Annual Prostate Cancer Screening After You Turn 40

Let’s face it, a prostate cancer test is something few men want to complete. But for many men, a prostate cancer screening ultimately may prove to be the difference between life and death. If you get a prostate cancer test when you turn 40, you may reap the benefits of your decision for literally years to come.

 

Prostate Cancer: Here’s What You Need to Know

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). One in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime, ACS notes. Additionally, ACS estimates nearly 165,000 new prostate cancer cases will be reported and roughly 29,000 prostate cancer deaths will occur in 2018.

In most instances, prostate cancer develops in older men. The average age at the time of a prostate cancer diagnosis is 66, ACS states. Meanwhile, 60% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and prostate cancer is rarely reported among men under 40.

Prostate cancer is a serious problem, but most men with a prostate cancer diagnosis can manage this condition. ACS points out more than 2.9 million men in the United States have received a prostate cancer diagnosis during their lifetime and are still alive today. Furthermore, ACS estimates the five-year survival rate in local-stage prostate cancer cases in which cancer has not spread outside the body is nearly 100%.

A prostate cancer screening helps men identify prostate cancer in its early stages. That way, men can address prostate cancer before it spreads throughout the body and increase the likelihood of fast, effective recovery.

 

What to Expect During a Prostate Cancer Screening

A prostate cancer screening generally involves two tests: a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). The PSA test is used to review the level of PSA in the bloodstream. For most men, a healthy PSA level falls below 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Comparatively, a DRE requires a doctor to insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum. The doctor then feels for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate.

If prostate cancer screening results are not normal, a doctor may request a prostate biopsy. At this point, the doctor uses a needle to remove a sample of prostate tissue from a patient. Next, a lab specialist will examine the tissue sample and find out if it contains any cancer cells.

Also, a doctor may request a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) if he or she suspects a patient is dealing with prostate cancer. A TRUS procedure involves the use of soundwaves to create an image of the prostate gland. It allows a doctor to visualize the prostate gland and identify any abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures.

Although prostate cancer screenings are valuable, it is important to recognize that no tests are perfect. In some instances, a prostate cancer screening fails to detect cancer or identifies red flags that turn out to be harmless. Yet when it comes to prostate cancer, it is always better to err on the side of caution. And if men undergo regular prostate cancer screenings starting at age 40, they can address the risks associated with prostate cancer as soon as they are detected.

 

Is an Annual Prostate Cancer Screening Necessary?

Prostate cancer testing may be performed annually. Yet how frequently an individual receives a prostate cancer screening may vary based on several risk factors, including:

  • Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases as a person gets older.
  •  Ethnicity: Recent research indicates African-American men are more susceptible than others to prostate cancer.
  • Family History: An individual may be more likely than others to receive a prostate cancer diagnosis if a parent, brother or other family member received a prostate cancer diagnosis before the age of 65.
  •  Diet: A high-fat diet increases an individual’s risk of prostate cancer.

In addition to periodic prostate cancer screenings, there are many ways to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Some of the best ways to limit the risk of prostate cancer include:

  •         Eat healthy. A diet that includes low-fat foods like lean meats and reduced-fat dairy products can help an individual simultaneously keep the heart healthy, lose weight and ward off prostate cancer.
  •         Exercise regularly. Studies have shown there is a direct correlation between exercise and prostate cancer. If a person exercises for at least 30 minutes a day, this individual may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, heart disease and other health problems.
  •         Avoid smoking. Research indicates smokers may be more susceptible than others to an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and prostate cancer patients who smoke are more likely than others to have a recurrence of the condition. Fortunately, individuals who avoid smoking can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Don’t forget to consult with a doctor to learn about prostate cancer. A doctor can perform an in-depth prostate cancer test, as well as provide recommendations to help patients prevent prostate cancer. Best of all, a doctor can deliver personalized prostate cancer treatments.

 

How to Treat Prostate Cancer

There are many prostate cancer treatments, and these include:

  • Active Surveillance: Usually involves a PSA test and DRE about every six months and annual prostate biopsies.
  • Radiation Therapy: Consists of external beam radiation or brachytherapy (internal radiation). Radiation therapy may be used in cases of low-grade prostate cancer or as part of an initial treatment for cancers that have developed outside the prostate and affect nearby tissues.
  • Cryotherapy (Cryosurgery): Requires cold temperatures to freeze and destroy prostate cancer cells. Cryotherapy may be used to treat early-stage prostate cancer; or, it may be used if prostate cancer returns following radiation therapy.
  •  Hormone Therapy: Reduces the level of male hormones in the body or ensures they remain unaffected by prostate cancer cells. Hormone therapy is also referred to as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or androgen suppression therapy.
  •  Chemotherapy: Involves the use of anti-cancer drugs that are injected into a vein or given by mouth. Chemotherapy may prove to be a viable treatment for cancer that has spread to distant organs.

In order to find the right prostate cancer treatment, an individual first requires a prostate cancer screening and diagnosis. If an individual is diagnosed with prostate cancer, this patient then can work with a doctor to determine the best course of action.

 

Contact La Peer Health Systems for a Prostate Cancer Screening Today

La Peer Health Systems provides prostate cancer testing to help patients stay ahead of prostate cancer and identify this problem in its early stages. To schedule a prostate cancer test with La Peer Health Systems, please contact us today at 855.360.9119.

When to See a GI Specialist for Gastric Issues

For those who are experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) issues, it is important to receive the right support. The digestive tract is complex, and many symptoms may indicate disease. Although an individual might contact a primary care physician (PCP) at the first signs of gastric issues, a gastroenterologist may be required for proper GI treatment.

Should I See a PCP or Gastroenterologist?

There are far-flung differences between gastroenterologists and PCPs. Gastroenterology is a medical field that focuses on the treatment of GI issues. A gastroenterologist has an in-depth understanding of the physiology of the GI organs and the digestion and absorption of nutrients in the body.

 

Digestive diseases can disrupt daily life and gastric symptoms often are associated with underlying medical conditions. A gastroenterologist possesses comprehensive GI expertise, and as such, can help a patient identify and address the underlying causes of GI conditions. Plus, a gastroenterologist’s expertise enables him or her to detect and treat diseases in a number of areas of the body, including:

  •         Esophagus
  •         Liver
  •         Gallbladder
  •         Stomach
  •         Small intestine
  •         Pancreas
  •         Bile ducts
  •         Colon

 

In most instances, patients are referred to a gastroenterologist by a PCP. They may be referred to a gastroenterologist for many reasons, including:

  •   Esophageal pain
  •  Abdominal pain or bloating
  •  Vomiting
  •   Excessive gas or belching
  •   Diarrhea
  •   Dark urine
  •   Rectal bleeding   
  • Loss of appetite or weight

5 GI Conditions Treated by a Gastroenterologist

There are various GI conditions that may require treatment from a gastroenterologist. Here are five GI conditions that are frequently treated by gastroenterologists.

  1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a chronic digestive system disease. It causes acids and other contents of the stomach to back up. This results in irritation of sensitive tissues in the esophagus.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates GERD affects approximately 20% of the U.S. population. GERD can impact anyone, at any time. However, those who most often develop GERD are:

  • Overweight or obese
  • Pregnant
  • Taking certain types of medicines, such as antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives or anti-depressants
  • Smokers or individuals regularly exposed to secondhand smoke

Common GERD symptoms include bad breath, nausea, chest pain and vomiting. An individual may be able to address initial GERD symptoms with over-the-counter medications or dietary changes. Conversely, if GERD symptoms persist, a gastroenterologist may be required. This specialist can perform tests to identify and diagnose GERD. If GERD is confirmed, a gastroenterologist will evaluate long-term treatment options with a patient.

  1. Celiac Disease

Celiac disease refers to an immune reaction that occurs when individuals consume gluten, a protein found in barley, rye and wheat. For those with Celiac disease, gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine. This results in damage to the small intestine’s lining over time.

Celiac disease is difficult to diagnose in kids and adults. It may cause fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss and other health complications. The disease also causes symptoms unrelated to the digestive system, such as anemia, mouth ulcers and joint pain.

Treating Celiac disease can be tough. The only known treatment to the disease is adhering to a gluten-free diet. And if Celiac disease symptoms go unaddressed over an extended period of time, long-term health conditions like gallbladder malfunction and lactose intolerance may develop.

A gastroenterologist will run tests to diagnose Celiac disease. Typically, this specialist will assess a patient’s medical history, perform blood tests and learn about a patient’s symptoms. If the gastroenterologist determines Celiac disease is the cause of a patient’s GI problems, he or she can help this individual implement a gluten-free diet.

  1. Colon Polyps

A colon polyp is a cluster of cells that develops on the lining of the colon. Oftentimes, a colon polyp is harmless. Yet some colon polyps may develop into colon cancer over time.

Most colon polyps are non-neoplastic and do not become cancerous. On the other hand, neoplastic polyps are adenomatous (consist of glandular tissue) or serrated (have a saw-like appearance). Adenomatous and serrated polyps are precancerous, and people with these types of polyps are at greater risk than others of developing cancer.

Colon polyps rarely, if ever, produce symptoms until they grow. They may be identified during a colonoscopy, a procedure that is used to evaluate the colon with a flexible fiber-optic scope. A colonoscopy may be performed under sedation and is virtually painless for most patients.

A gastroenterologist may use a colonoscopy to remove colon polyps. If the colon polyp is small enough, a gastroenterologist may be able to remove it with forceps. Or, a gastroenterologist may use a wire-loop device or laser-like device to eliminate a large colon polyp. After a colon polyp is removed, it will be sent to a pathologist for further evaluation.

  1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD consists of several intestinal disorders that cause inflammation of the digestive tract. The two most common intestinal disorders associated with IBD are:

  •         Crohn’s Disease: Causes inflammation that may appear anywhere in the GI tract from the mouth to the anus.
  •         Ulcerative Colitis: Affects the colon and rectum and causes inflammation on the innermost lining of the large intestine.

The cause of IBD is unknown. Studies have shown an individual may be more likely than others to develop IBD if his or her parents previously dealt with the disease. Meanwhile, IBD may impact those who experience digestive tract inflammation, even if there is no infection that causes the inflammation. In this instance, the immune system attacks its own cells, which may cause digestive tract inflammation that lingers for many months or years.

A gastroenterologist may perform multiple tests to make an IBD diagnosis. Both a colonoscopy and cross-sectional imaging may be used to evaluate the colon or upper GI tract. Furthermore, blood tests may be administered to detect markers commonly linked to IBD. A gastroenterologist may request a physical exam and evaluate a patient’s medical history, too.  

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS, also known as a spastic colon, is a GI disorder characterized by a variety of symptoms. These include:

  •  Bloating
  •  Gas
  •  Food intolerance
  •  Cramping
  •   Abdominal pain

There is no surefire cause of IBS, but several risk factors have been linked to the condition. Common IBS risk factors include:

  •  Food sensitivities: Occur due to acids in food or poor absorption of sugars.
  •  Gastroenteritis (stomach flu): Bacterial infection of the intestines and stomach.
  •  Hypersensitivity to pain: Caused by a full bowel or gas.

A gastroenterologist may perform an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy to provide an IBS diagnosis. This specialist can then help a patient determine the best way to manage IBS symptoms. They can treat a wide range of GI issues and are equipped to perform many GI procedures. These procedures include:

  • Colonoscopy: Endoscopic examination of the large intestine and the distal part of the small bowel. A colonoscopy offers a visual diagnosis of ulcers, tumors and areas of inflammation or bleeding.
  • Polypectomy: Procedure to eliminate polyps from the colon. A polypectomy is non-invasive and may be completed at the same time as a colonoscopy.
  • Upper Endoscopy: Procedure that provides a view of the upper part of a patient’s GI tract. A gastroenterologist can use an upper endoscopy to visualize the esophagus, stomach and duodenum and diagnose and treat upper GI tract conditions.
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Procedure that transmits a video image from inside the colon to a computer screen. With a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a gastroenterologist can biopsy abnormal-looking tissues, identify inflamed tissues and diagnose changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus and weight loss.
  • Capsule Endoscopy: Diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the digestive tract. Capsule endoscopy is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and allows a gastroenterologist to detect and treat disorders of the small intestine.

Many gastroenterologists are available in the Los Angeles area, but not all of these GI specialists are created equal. When it comes to finding the best support with GI issues, there may be no better option than working with the specialists at LA Peer Health Systems.

The LA Peer Health Systems Gastroenterology Department employs a team of expert gastroenterologists and surgeons, including gastroenterologist Dr. Tabib. In fact, this team both diagnoses and treats chronic digestive conditions and performs non-emergency procedures.

There is no need to wait to treat your GI issues. To find out more about how LA Peer Health Systems can help you address GI conditions, please call (855) 360-9119 and ask to speak with our Department of Gastroenterology.

The Health Risks of Not Fixing a Deviated Septum

A deviated septum can be a mild misalignment of the nasal passages that doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms, or it can be a serious health condition. In fact, it’s estimated that about 80% of people have some form of misalignment within their nasal passages. However, a deviated septum shouldn’t be ignored and it’s important to look into treatment options to prevent both short-term and long-term health-related conditions. If you’ve been diagnosed with a deviated septum, speak with your doctor about appropriate treatment options to minimize the risk of it affecting your health long-term.

What Are the Health Risks of Not Fixing a Deviated Septum?

While some people have such a mild form of nasal septum misalignment that they don’t even know they have a deviated septum, others with noticeable symptoms will want to look into permanent treatment options if they don’t wish to live with the pain and discomforts their entire lives. A deviated septum is not something that will simply dissipate on its own. When left untreated, there’s a greater risk of it actually worsening.

Those with a deviated septum can also experience frequent sinus infections throughout their lives. Chronic sinus infections lead to chronic inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages, which can lead to other serious infections like infections of the eye and brain. Although rare, untreated sinus infections can spread to the brain or to the tissue surrounding the brain. If an infection spreads to the brain, you are at risk for seizures and brain damage.

An untreated deviated septum can also lead to a serious condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when a person temporarily stops breathing at night during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing temporarily multiple times during sleep. When someone stops breathing, the brain and rest of the body does not get the oxygen it needs to perform properly and nourish itself. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when a blockage in the airway restricts oxygen flow. An untreated deviated septum can cause obstructive sleep apnea.

When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, heart attacks, diabetes, depression, worsening of ADHD and headaches. Sleep apnea can also lead to poor performance at work or school, car crashes and academic underachievement in children.

In addition to sinus infections, sleep apnea and the conditions that can occur concurrently, people with deviated septums may also experience headaches, facial pain, nosebleeds and nasal obstructions.

Learn More About Deviated Septum Treatments

If you or a loved one has a deviated septum and it is affecting their quality of life, get in touch with our Nasal Surgery department by calling (855) 360-9119 or through our online contact form. Receive more information about our treatment options for a deviated septum and to schedule your obligation-free consultation.

Charlie Daniels Has Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

Rotator cuff repair procedures are among our most commonly performed surgeries. There are many ways to tear your rotator cuff:It looks like the Charlie Daniels’ Band will be without its legendary fiddle playing for the near future. Legendary singer, guitarist, and fiddler Charlie Daniels underwent successful rotator cuff repair surgery on the morning of Monday, December 17.

  • Normal wear and tear (after the age of 40, muscles and tendons don’t repair as well)
  • Falling
  • Lifting or pulling
  • Repetitive stress (i.e. playing a musical instrument, baseball, tennis, etc.)

If you are in need of shoulder surgery, contact our Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeons for an appointment.

Rotator Cuff Information

As a result of the years of stress on his shoulder joint, Charlie Daniels needed rotator cuff surgery. A lot of people suffer from rotator cuff injuries. The shoulder joint is not designed for many of the over-the-top movements required by fiddlers. As is most often the case, a torn rotator cuff involves the tendons. The tendons of the rotator cuff can be torn either partially or completely.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and four tendons in the shoulder joint that allow the shoulder to both move freely and remain in place. A rotator cuff tear occurs when a muscle or tendon in the rotator cuff is torn. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint: The ball, or head, of your upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade. Your shoulder joint is made up of three bones: upper arm bone, shoulder blade, and collarbone.

Signs of a torn rotator cuff include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain when moving the shoulder
  • Shoulder tenderness
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Decreased range of motion in the shoulder
  • Difficulty moving the shoulder

Recovery from Torn Rotator Cuff Surgery

The good news for Charlie Daniels, and his band’s fans, is that the music star’s recovery should not take a long time. According to an update posted on his website, he’ll be back to fiddling in about two to six weeks.

Just wanted to let everybody know that Charlie had surgery this morning to fix a shredded rotator cuff. The surgery was successful, he is resting at home and is doing very well. He won’t be playing the fiddle or guitar for a while, but he will be back to normal in 2 to 6 weeks, and will not miss any shows scheduled for 2013. Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes!

If you are among the estimated two million adults that suffer rotator cuff injuries on average each year, you should contact an experienced orthopedic surgeon at La Peer. To schedule an appointment, contact our office at (310) 777-7845. You may also fill out the website contact form and a member of our office staff will contact you shortly.

Do You Have Blood in Your Stools?

Blood in stools can give you a good scare. The good news is that it is not always indicative of a serious health problem. Still, it is important to see your doctor so that diagnostic tests can determine if the blood is a symptom of a potentially serious health concern.

The simplest explanation for blood in your stools is bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract. Your doctor or gastroenterologist can help determine where the bleeding originates.

Keep in mind that not all blood in stools is visible to the naked eye. Whereas some people can see blood after wiping on their toilet paper, others can only be detected by a test that finds hidden blood in stools. Sometimes, bleeding occurs high enough up in the digestive tract that stools appear black and tarry. If you notice any of these symptoms, please notify your doctor.

Possible Health Problems Linked to Blood in Stools

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anal fissures
  • Cancer
  • Colitis
  • Intestinal problems
  • Polyps
  • Ulcers

There are several tests your doctor may recommend to diagnose bloody stools including:

  • EGD
  • Colonoscopy
  • Capsule Endoscopy

For an EGD, your doctor inserts a flexible tube with a small camera attached to the end through the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach. This can also be used to collect small tissue samples for a biopsy.

A colonoscopy is very similar to an EGD only in reverse. This time the tube is inserted through the anus and it allows the doctor to see the entire large intestine (colon). Tissue samples can also be collected to biopsy.

A capsule endoscopy is a procedure which entails swallowing a pill-sized capsule with a tiny camera. Images are sent via blue tooth to a belt worn by the patient as the capsule passes through the digestive tract. The purpose of this test is to visualize the small intestine / small bowel.

With all of these diagnostic tools, your doctor should be able to diagnose if any serious problems are causing blood in your stools. Just know that it is very important to see a doctor as soon as possible so that you can catch problems earlier — when they are more treatable – than later.

If you notice blood in your stools, contact the Department of Gastroenterology at La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills at (855) 360-9119.

Baseball Players and Shoulder Injuries

Should pain is a common problem for baseball players. The throwing motion used in baseball is unnatural and causes great strain on throwing shoulders. Softball’s windmill motion, conversely, is a much more natural throwing motion, causing far less strain and allowing players to pitch far more often.

Our Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeons see a lot of patients with shoulder injuries. The Southern California climate allows for baseball to be played year-round, putting thousands of shoulders at risk for injury 12 months of the year — as opposed to just half the year in other more temperate areas of the country.

How Do Shoulder Injuries Occur?

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint where the collar bone (clavicle), upper arm bone (humerus) and shoulder blade (scapula). The joint is stabilized by soft tissue, which includes static stabilizers like the shoulder capsule ligaments and labrum cartilage as well as dynamic stabilizers such as the rotator cuff muscles. These stabilizing elements work together to allow for a throwing motion. When some of these stabilizers are too loose or too tight, the balance is thrown off and tears can occur in the soft tissue.

The act of throwing a baseball is broken down into 5 parts:

  • 1. Wind up
  • 2. Cocking
  • 3. Acceleration
  • 4. Deceleration
  • 5. Follow-through

The shoulder ball (humeral head) fits loosely in the socket (glenoid), giving us all unrestricted movement in our shoulder joints. This does not come without a few drawbacks. While baseball players can bring their arms back as far as they want during the cocking stage and throw with great acceleration, this is all predicated on shoulder stability being maintained by a group of relatively weak soft tissue structures. As such, these ligaments and muscles are under tremendous stress during the act of throwing a baseball. Since pitchers throw with high or max velocity often in excess of 100 repetitions (pitches) during a game, this stress leads to a lot of shoulder injuries in the sport of baseball.

The most common types of serious shoulder injuries are as follows:

  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Torn labrum
  • Broken growth plates in the humerus for young players who are still growing

Common symptoms of a shoulder injury are a decrease in velocity, pain while throwing or after throwing, and the sensation of a shoulder that feels loose like it is coming out of the socket.

Ways You Can Avoid Shoulder Injuries in Pitchers

Since shoulder injuries are often caused by high stress for a high number of repetitions, the simplest solution is to decrease both of those factors. The first way to limit the chances of a shoulder injury is to avoid reaching a high pitch count. The second is to limit the throwing of curveballs and/or sliders because both pitches require additional strain. Both of these are especially important for young players with still-developing arms.

Even with these limitations, shoulder injuries can and will still occur. The best way to limit injuries to strains before they become full-blow tears or breaks is to keep an eye out for the symptoms. Baseball coaches of all levels need to be aware of the warning signs, which include (but are not limited to):

  • Velocity decrease
  • Loss of stamina
  • Poor throwing mechanics
  • Shoulder pain

If any of these symptoms occur, the best thing you can do is shut the pitcher down for a few weeks until the symptoms go away. If symptoms continue to persist, an orthopedist might recommend surgery as an option. The recovery time for shoulder surgery is usually about three months, but pitchers have an eight month-to-a-year recovery timeframe until they will regain their full shoulder strength and pitch velocity.

If you or your child has been experiencing shoulder pain before, after or during throwing exercises, contact the La Peer Department of Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine today at (855) 360-9119 to schedule an examination.