Colonoscopy in New Jersey
The Digestive Health & Nutrition Center has two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Princeton, New Jersey where you can receive the exceptional care you deserve. Angela Merlo, M.D. is highly skilled in this specialized procedure giving her patients the advantage of the most accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment. Dr. Merlo performs colonoscopies in adults as well as children in an Ambulatory Surgical Center or outpatient hospital when necessary.
What is a Colonoscopy?
The colon is an important part of your digestive system that serves to absorb water and some nutrients and then expel waste after digestion. Your colon is vital to your overall health. A colon that harbors ulcers, inflammation, or cancer may not be able to perform and may cause a chain reaction of other maladies. A colonoscopy allows Dr. Merlo to examine the inside lining of your colon and identify potential problems. This procedure involves the use of a colonoscope, which is a long flexible tube with a video camera that transmits images to a computer monitor. Other instruments can be inserted through ports in the colonoscope that allow for biopsies, resection of tumors or polyps, or control of bleeding. Patients feel little to no discomfort and usually finish the procedure in well under one hour.
How do I Know if I Need a Colonoscopy?
Dr. Merlo can help you determine if you need a colonoscopy. But, there are a few signs and symptoms that indicate your need for the test.
- Changes in your bowel movements
- A feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss without dieting
- Blood in stool
Even with no symptoms, everyone at 50-yo needs a colonoscopy for screening to detect and remove polyps before they turn into cancer. Dr. Merlo also recommends screening for younger people who have a family history of colon cancer or polyps or certain conditions such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Many patients are referred to Dr. Merlo for colonoscopy when abnormalities detected on Cat Scans, MRI or other radiographs.
What Can Colonoscopy Accomplish for Me?
- Cancer screening and surveillance
- Mucosal biopsies and resection
- Removal of polyps
- Control of bleeding
- Marking for precise surgical excision
- Destruction of unresectable tumors
- Dilatation of strictures
- Pre-op evaluation of bariatric and other surgeries
Is any Preparation Necessary Before the Procedure?
Of course! Your colon must be clean for the examination to be accurate and complete. But Dr. Merlo knows of preparations for cleaning the colon that minimize your discomfort. And the process occurs the evening before the procedure so there is no need to miss your usual activities the day before the test. Dr. Merlo will address your concerns and provide easy to understand instructions. Be certain to tell us your current medications and any medical conditions you have so Dr. Merlo can best address your needs.
Not Sure About Sedation?
Dr. Merlo brings a myriad of experience and expertise to every procedure and knows how to minimize your discomfort even without sedation. If you select sedation your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing will be expertly monitored during the procedure. Following sedation you cannot drive the rest of the day so someone must accompany you to the center. Either way the vast majority of patients feel no symptoms from the procedure even if polyps are removed.
What Happens After the Examination?
Our office takes special steps to get the results to you quickly. Dr. Merlo will speak to you before you leave the center to explain her findings. Results of biopsies are usually available within four business days.
If you are searching for a Gastroenterologist expert for your colonoscopy, contact the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center in Lawrenceville or Princeton, New Jersey for an appointment with Dr. Merlo.