Month: April 2017

Signs of possible trouble in your gut

 

Diverticulitis: Symptoms and Treatments

People who pay attention to their digestive system are more likely to notice worrisome symptoms and seek medical attention sooner, said Dr. Amit Singal and colleague at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

And when colon cancer is caught early, it is usually easier to treat, Singal explained.

“The old saying ‘listen to your gut’ holds true when it comes to your health. If you notice differences that persist more than a week, contact your physician,” he said in a hospital news release. Singal is a gastroenterologist and an associate professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences.

“Many conditions can cause digestive symptoms, but if it is cancer and you catch it early, you’ll have a better prognosis,” he added.

that should not be ignored include:

  • A change in the diameter of your bowel movements,
  • Bloody bowel movements,
  • Black stools,
  • Lower belly pain or discomfort that persists.

Starting at age 50, everyone should be screened for colon cancer—even if no symptoms are present.

Singal said there are a few ways doctors test for colon cancer, including:

  • Colonoscopy: This test examines the colon and allows doctors to remove polyps before they can grow and become cancerous.
  • FIT (fecal immunochemical test): This test detects blood in the stool.

A new colon cancer blood test, approved this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, may be an option for patients who are not at high risk for the disease, Singal said.

Be aware of your family history and whether any of your relatives have had colon cancer, especially before age 50, he advised.

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Ventral Hernia

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a Vinci® Hernia Surgery

Cross Section Ventral Hernia-and-Repaired HerniaIf you have a hernia it can be done using open surgery or minimally invasive surgery. During hernia surgery, the weak tissue in the wall of the stomach or groin is secured and any holes are closed.

If minimally invasive surgery is an option for you, ask your doctor about da Vinci Surgery.

Why da Vinci Surgery?

Early clinical data suggests that as a result of this technology, da Vinci Ventral Hernia Surgery offers the following potential benefits:

Low rate of the hernia returning
Low rate of pain
Low rate of surgeon switching to open surgery
Short hospital stay
da Vinci technology enables your surgeon to operate through a few small incisions (cuts), like traditional laparoscopy, instead of a large open incision. The da Vinci System is a robotic-assisted surgical device that your surgeon is 100% in control of at all times. The da Vinci System gives surgeons:

A 3D HD view inside your body
Wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand
Enhanced vision, precision and control
The da Vinci System has brought minimally invasive surgery to more than 3 million patients worldwide. da Vinci technology – changing the experience of surgery for people around the world.

Gallstones in the Common Bile Duct

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About 1 in 7 people with gallstones will develop stones in the common bile duct. This is the small tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the intestine. Risk factors include a history of gallstones. However, choledocholithiasis can occur in people who have had their gallbladder removed.

Usually, the stones pass from the gallbladder into the bile ducts. They may remain there without blocking the flow of bile or causing symptoms, or they may pass on into the small intestine without being noticed. However, if the gallstones cause a blockage in a bile duct, a person will have pain.

Serious complications (such as a blocked duct) rarely occur. So you and your doctor may decide to delay treatment to see whether symptoms go away on their own. This is especially true if your doctor is not sure that the symptoms were caused by gallstones. Sometimes surgery for gallstone problems is needed right away.

Appendicitis

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Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a 3 1/2-inch-long tube of tissue that extends from the large intestine. No one is absolutely certain what the function of the appendix is. One thing we do know: We can live without it, without apparent consequences.

Appendicitis is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix. Left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually burst, or perforate, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity’s lining (the peritoneum) that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics.

Sometimes a pus-filled abscess (infection that is walled off from the rest of the body) forms outside the inflamed appendix. Scar tissue then “walls off” the appendix from the rest of the abdomen, preventing infection from spreading. An abscessed appendix can perforate or explode and cause peritonitis. For this reason, all cases of appendicitis are treated as emergencies, requiring surgery.

In the U.S., one in 15 people will get appendicitis. Although it can strike at any age, appendicitis is rare under age 2 and most common between ages 10 and 30.

What Causes Appendicitis?

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked, often by stool, a foreign body, or cancer. Blockage may also occur from infection, since the appendix swells in response to any infection in the body.

What Are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

The classic symptoms of appendicitis include:

Dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen. This is usually the first sign.
Loss of appetite
Nausea and/or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
Abdominal swelling
Fever of 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
Inability to pass gas
Almost half the time, other symptoms of appendicitis appear, including:

Dull or sharp pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
Painful urination and difficulty passing urine
Vomiting that precedes the abdominal pain
Severe cramps
Constipation or diarrhea with gas
If you have any of the mentioned symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, because timely diagnosis and treatment is very important. Do not eat, drink, or use any pain remedies, antacids, laxatives, or heating pads, which can cause an inflamed appendix to rupture.