Colonoscopy Info - Router Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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I've seen colonoscopy postings on this site so I'll post another which some might find interesting. Background: I had a colonoscopy a couple of months ago and had some polyps removed. There was also a polyp that could not be removed at this time because it was flat and required a special procedure...the easily removable polyps have stalks. I was doing some internet searches on this type of flat polyp and found that historically these were removed via surgery. But, there is a procedure called EMR, whereby the doctor uses specialized equipment to remove these flat polyps following the same route as a 'regular' colonoscopy. I'm not sure how long this EMR procedure has been around but my gastroenterologist referred me to his colleague who specializes in EMRs. I read an internet article where a patient was told by his gastroenterologist that he found a flat polyp and needed surgery. The patient did research and learned about EMR and found a doctor who could perform it. Patient had the EMR done and avoided surgery.
My point is that EMR is specialized and not done by all gastroenterologists. Also, may not be doable on all flat polyps.
I had the EMR procedure yesterday and am thanking my lucky stars that I could avoid surgery and hospitalization.
Just an FYI in case you run into the situation and your medical provider doesn't do EMRs.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 10:18 AM
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Thanks for the info. I watched a video of a procedure like what you described. They laid the polyp over a stainless rod and used a laser to burn it off at the base. I think that has been the standard for more than a decade. Done routinely by most MDs these days. Important to get the basal cells since that's where so many cancers start.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I watched a video of a procedure like what you described. They laid the polyp over a stainless rod and used a laser to burn it off at the base. I think that has been the standard for more than a decade. Done routinely by most MDs these days. Important to get the basal cells since that's where so many cancers start.
The EMR method is used to remove a flat polyp that has no base. Based on what you describe it doesn't sound like you saw an EMR procedure.....not sure if most MDs can do this.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 01:47 PM
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One surgeon in town here; he does all the colonoscopies, at the hospital. Tuesdays and Thursdays are devoted to doing them.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 02:31 PM
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I have great confidence in my doctor being able to do that if need be. He is so good, he told me he even give colonoscopies to himself. I understand that setting up the mirrors properly is the really tough part. True story.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 03:56 PM
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Now that's just plain ass backwards!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 08:06 PM
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They'll never take that route with me! You should try to hear Ray Stevens' parody of the procedure.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-03-2017, 10:02 AM
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Darn, this post is a bit late for me. I had the dreaded flat polyp as described during my last procedure. Most of those types are pre-cancerous an should be removed. I was immediately referred to a (very good) surgeon and he removed 10" of the colon affected via a laparoscopic procedure. It was an easy procedure and done one day & home the next. No problems so far.

I encourage everyone to have a colonoscopy and take care of a "flat polyp" with out delay. Just wished I had known about the EMR procedure sooner (even though the surgical procedure is an easy one). Thanks for the info, if I have another issue I will bring up the EMR with my doctor.

P.S. thankfully my polyp turned out to be benign.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-03-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Darn, this post is a bit late for me. I had the dreaded flat polyp as described during my last procedure. Most of those types are pre-cancerous an should be removed. I was immediately referred to a (very good) surgeon and he removed 10" of the colon affected via a laparoscopic procedure. It was an easy procedure and done one day & home the next. No problems so far.

I encourage everyone to have a colonoscopy and take care of a "flat polyp" with out delay. Just wished I had known about the EMR procedure sooner (even though the surgical procedure is an easy one). Thanks for the info, if I have another issue I will bring up the EMR with my doctor.

P.S. thankfully my polyp turned out to be benign.
Glad to hear that the procedure and pathology were all good.....and your upside is, I assume, no follow up colonoscopy for a few years. My EMR follow up colonoscopy is in 6 months.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-03-2017, 03:33 PM
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I didn't respond to this post the first 3 times I ran across it. But I decided that I would be remiss if I failed to speak up. You see, I know way more about colon cancer than I ever wanted to know. Three years ago, my wife went to her doctor for a routine checkup. He said, "You're 53 years old, and you've never had a colonoscopy. I'm making you an appointment." I won't go into all the gory details, but she had Stage 3 Colon Cancer. She had surgery, followed by 6 months of chemotherapy. Two years of clear tests, then we found the colon cancer had moved to the lining of her abdomen. In this location, surgery isn't effective, and chemotherapy only adds more time on chemotherapy. She is now in the last few months of life at 56 years of age.

I said all this to make this one point: Colon cancer is VERY slow growing. That's why most of us can get by with a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50. But that slow-growing aspect also makes it very hard to treat effectively once it has escaped the colon. I don't blame my wife for her fate . . . I was 3 years late getting my own colonoscopy. None of us look forward to it. But I'll always wonder how different things might be if we had caught her cancer 3 years earlier.

Don't put it off . . . Get you colonoscopies on time!
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