Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for tag: Colonoscopy

April 05, 2021
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy  

The doctors at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants in Houston, TX, perform colonoscopies for patients concerned about colon cancer. Colonoscopies can save lives by identifying signs of cancer before you even experience symptoms!

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera into the rectum to look into the rectum and colon. This procedure can identify cancer and precancerous polyps in the colon. Polyps can also be removed during a colonoscopy. We perform colonoscopies in Houston, TX, for patients with a family history of colon cancer or who are otherwise concerned about colon cancer.

A colonoscopy requires some preparation by the patient to empty the colon. A special diet a few days before including a liquid diet the day before prepares the colon. The patient is sedated during the procedure and should sleep through it without feeling discomfort. Colonoscopies are a more invasive type of cancer screening so they are not recommended often, but precancerous polyps can actually be removed during a colonoscopy and save your life.

Why is a colonoscopy important?

Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for those not at an elevated risk for colon cancer. Colon cancer affects an equal amount of men and women, but almost ninety percent of cases are in patients over the age of 50, so the recommended age for this screening is from 50-75. Based on your health and your family history, your doctor can tell you if you are at an elevated risk for colon cancer.

Colonoscopies can find signs of cancer before a patient is feeling any symptoms, which is why yearly cancer screenings are so important past a certain age. If you are at an elevated risk for colon cancer, your doctor will recommend being screened every year using different tests. If you are concerned about colon cancer, the doctors at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants perform colonoscopies. Contact us for an appointment at our Houston, TX, locations at 713-777-2555, 713-796-8627, or 713-880-8707.

June 24, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Have you been wondering if you need a colonoscopy? Your Houston gastroenterologists at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants in TX can help you decide if you could benefit from this important test.

How colonoscopies work

During a colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist views the lining of your large intestine remotely using digital technology. During the test, he inserts a thin, lighted scope that contains a miniature camera into your anus and slowly passes it through your large intestine, also known as the colon.

The camera sends images to the digital monitor, giving your Houston gastroenterologist a real-time view of your large intestine. Colonoscopies are performed while you're sedated or anesthetized. After you wake up, your Houston gastroenterologist will tell you what he saw during the procedure.

Most people can leave the Houston colonoscopy facility an hour or two after the procedure. Although you'll feel alert after your colonoscopy, you'll need to ask someone to drive you home, as the sedative or anesthesia could slow your reaction time.

Colonoscopies are an important cancer screening tool

Colon cancer doesn't cause any symptoms until it's quite advanced. By that time, it is challenging to treat. Colonoscopies allow your Houston gastroenterologist to find lesions or polyps in the lining of your large intestine. Polyps can be non-cancerous, cancerous, or pre-cancerous. During the colonoscopy, your doctor will remove polyps and take tissue samples of any suspicious areas.

You may have heard that you should have a colonoscopy for the first time at age 50. That recommendation was lowered to age 45 for both men and women a few years ago.

Colonoscopies help your gastroenterologist diagnose and treat gastrointestinal health issues

Colonoscopies can also be used to determine the cause of:

  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bowel movement changes
  • Unexplained weight loss

In some cases, your gastroenterologist can treat the issue using tiny tools. For example, bleeding might be stopped by cauterizing (sealing with heat) bleeding vessels in the large intestine lining.

Colonoscopies help you protect your health! Schedule an appointment with your gastroenterologists in Houston TX at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants by calling (713) 777-2555 for the Memorial Hermann Southwest office, (713) 796-8627 for the Smith Tower office, or (713) 880-8707 for the Memorial Hermann Greater Heights office.

By Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants
September 12, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

A colonoscopy is a simple procedure that allows our Houston gastroenterologist Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker to look at and examine the lining of the colon and rectum to diagnose issues, detect early signs of colorectal cancer, and more. In fact, a colonoscopy is truly the best diagnostic tool we have at our disposable for detecting colorectal cancer early on when it’s easier to treat.

Of course, our GI specialist may recommend getting a colonoscopy in Houston for these reasons:

Diagnostic Purposes

Along with diagnosing cancer, a simple colonoscopy can also allow our gastroenterology team to diagnose other digestive disorders such as:

  • Colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diverticulosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

People dealing with symptoms such as changes in bowel movements, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss may need to undergo a colonoscopy to find out what’s causing their symptoms.


During a colonoscopy, our gastroenterologist may even be able to address certain issues. For instance, we can remove abnormal tissue (to biopsy) and colon polyps, as well as stop digestive bleeds.


This is the most common reason someone undergoes a colonoscopy. In fact, both men and women should schedule their first routine colonoscopy by the time they turn 50 years old (if you have certain risk factors you may want to schedule a colonoscopy a little earlier). If your colonoscopy comes back healthy then you shouldn’t need one for another decade. This simple procedure, which usually takes around 30 to 60 minutes, could just save your life.

What are risk factors for colorectal cancer?

It’s important to know whether you may be at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer over the course of your lifetime. Common risk factors include:

  • Older age (being over 50 years old)
  • Being male
  • Having inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Having a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer
  • Certain genetic disorders such as familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Eating a diet high in fat and low in fiber
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use

Whether you are dealing with unexplained abdominal pain, changes in your bowels or you have just turned 50 years old, your gastroenterologist at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants wants to make sure that everyone gets the proper diagnosis and treatment they need. If it’s time to undergo a colonoscopy in Houston, TX, then call our office today to schedule a consultation.

October 01, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy   Stomach Pain  

This diagnostic and screening procedure is important for your gastrointestinal health.

Colon PainMaybe you’ve never had a colonoscopy before but chances are good that you’ve heard about it. After all, everyone will need to have one at some point during their life. So, what is a colonoscopy and why it is required? Our Houston gastroenterologist Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker is here to tell you more.

A Colonoscopy as a Preventive Procedure

A colonoscopy allows our gastroenterologist to see in great detail the health of the intestinal tract in a way that an X-ray or other imaging tools cannot. By directing a thin flexible tube with a camera (known as an endoscope) through the rectum and into the colon and intestines, we can look for polyps and other early warning signs of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer happens to both men and women and most of the time symptoms do not manifest until the cancer has already spread. This is why it’s so important that everyone, no matter how healthy they are, undergo a colonoscopy once they reach 50 years old. If you have any risk factors (e.g. family history of colorectal cancer; smoker) then our Houston GI doctor may recommend getting a colonoscopy sooner (this is something we would be happy to discuss with you. Healthy individuals can often get away with getting just one colonoscopy every 10 years).

During a colonoscopy, we can also remove polyps (also known as adenomas) within the colon and rectum. While many polyps are benign, there are some that can turn cancerous. By getting routine colonoscopies we can remove these potentially serious polyps to prevent colorectal cancer.

A Colonoscopy as a Diagnostic Tool

Sometimes a colonoscopy is recommended if you are experiencing certain symptoms that are difficult to diagnose without seeing what’s going on within the digestive tract. A gastrointestinal specialist may advise you to have a colonoscopy if you are experiencing rectal bleeding, unexplained abdominal pain or symptoms that may indicate bleeding within the intestines.

Are you living in Houston and need to schedule your first colonoscopy? Experiencing certain gastrointestinal symptoms that aren’t going away? If so, then call Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants today. We can help.

January 22, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

What's the third biggest cause of cancer deaths in the United States? The American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy says it's colon colonoscopycancer, and if you're over 50, you should be screened for it. At Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants, expect the highest standard of care. Your Houston, TX, gastroenterologist, Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker and his professional team will make your experience as easy as possible and answer all your questions about this life-saving procedure.

Frequently asked questions about colonoscopy

1. Do I have to have one? If you're 50 or older, the answer is yes, and in some cases, routine colon cancer screenings happen more frequently if the illness seems to run in the family.

2. Exactly what is it? It's an outpatient procedure in which the Houston gastroenterologist inserts a flexible and lighted tube into the anus, through the rectum and into the entire length of the large intestine. The tube has a camera which sends real-time video feed to a monitor in the treatment room. Colonoscopies detect abnormalities such as polyps, cancer, diverticulum, sources of bleeding and more.

3. What's the reason for the day-long prep? The patient abstains from solid foods, consuming only a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure. Also, he or she follows a bowel prep regimen which includes consumption of laxatives. A clean bowel gives the doctor the best possible images during the procedure.

4. What does the doctor see during my colonoscopy? He sees the normal lining of the large intestine and also can visualize any abnormalities. If, for instance, he sees a polyp, he can "snare" it (painlessly) for biopsy.

5. Will it hurt? No, your colonoscopy will not hurt. During the entire 45-minute test, you will be positioned comfortably on your left side and will receive a sedative such as Valium to relax you. In fact, afterwards, you may have little or no memory of your procedure and must have a responsible adult drive you home.

6. When will I get results? Dr. Shivshanker reviews results right the procedure. Results from biopsies come in a few days.

7. How often should i get a colonoscopy? After a clear colonoscopy, your Houston gastroenterologist likely will advise getting one every ten years. If polyps were discovered, the interval may be shorter--every five years, for example. However, Dr. Shivshanker will tell you what's best for your unique case.

Other questions?

Contact Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants with your concerns. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help. Call (713) 777-2555 for the SW Highway office, and for the N Loop W location, phone (713) 880-8707.
March 10, 2017
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Colorectal cancer is highly preventative and can be detected through tests even before symptoms arise. Your gastroenterologist in colonoscopyHouston, TX, Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker from Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants, can examine you and determine whether a colonoscopy is advisable for your health. Generally, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy suggests anyone over 50 or individuals under 50 with a family history to be screened.

Signs That A Colonoscopy is Needed

On top of the age guidelines set forth, there are a variety of symptoms that should signal that a colonoscopy may need to be performed. For instance, if someone is having suspicious bowel symptoms such as blood in the stool or unexplained pain or cramping, it may be a good idea to have this important test. Also, individuals with Crohn’s or Ulcerative colitis or a woman diagnosed with ovarian or uterine cancer before age 50 both may need colonoscopies. Your gastroenterologist in Houston Dr. Shivshanker from Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants can have a detailed conversation with you about your symptoms and determine whether or not this test is one that you should have administered.

It’s important to note that even individuals without any symptoms with a family history of colorectal cancer may need a colonoscopy. These high-risk groups have surveillance colonoscopy just to protect their health on a regular basis. The age this begins depends on each patient. Ultimately, this test can save lives as colon cancer is known for spreading fast throughout the rest of abdominal area. While it may be uncomfortable, it is able to detect serious things going on inside that you cannot determine without this procedure. Your Houston, TX gastroenterologist, Dr. Shivshanker from Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants, can help you determine whether a colonoscopy might be advisable in your situation. To schedule a consultation, call 713-777-2555 today.