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  Phone : 610.375.0500

All Posts in Category: Surgical Institute of Reading

Woman drinking water from a glass to help prepare for a colonoscopy

Getting Ready for Colonoscopy: What’s New about the “P” Word

No doubt, the dreaded “P” word can conjure up mild apprehension. We are talking, of course, about “prep”, the oh-so necessary process prior to a colonoscopy. Everyone has heard stories about it, maybe even experienced it with a prior procedure. It’s OK if you’re beginning to get a nervous knot in your stomach at the mere thought of “prep”, but we’re here to tell you times have changed, and that usually means things get better, more informed. Such is the case with “prep”.

You made the appointment. You’ve completed the hardest part.

Of course, the benefit of having a colonoscopy to check for polyps or any other potentially cancerous abnormalities within the digestive tract far outweighs the very temporary inconvenience of its “prep”. Fortunately, ongoing advancements of “prep” methods over the past few years have provided more patient-friendly approaches that make “prep” – excuse the pun – easier to swallow.

One example is the evolution away from the high volume (upwards of 12 liters) liquid solutions that had to be consumed, to the more current method of combining liquids and laxatives in a timed regimen. Another common approach is the “split” prep, where half of the regimen is consumed the day before the colonoscopy and the second half on the day of the colonoscopy. Your doctor will discuss what approach is best for you, as well as provide detailed, easy to follow written instructions for the “prep” itself.

An easier process with better results.

As we shared before, welcome side effects from “prep” advancements are an easier process for patients, as well as a higher success rate in achieving a total cleanse of the colon to ensure best screening during the procedure. Many of our patients report the “prep” was much easier than they expected, especially if they experienced their first colonoscopy.

It’s all down hill from here.  

With other surgical procedures, things can sometimes get more difficult as each step progresses. With colonoscopy, it’s the opposite. Making the appointment, doing the “prep”; that’s the heavy lifting. By the time your colonoscopy is finished, you will probably have a feeling of “is that it?” Regardless of what your screening reveals, from a practical standpoint, yes, that’s it.

Dr. Joseph Levan, Dr. Robert Howard and Dr. Thomas Beetel of Spring Ridge Surgical Specialists all perform colonoscopy at Surgical Institute of Reading, right next to the offices of Spring Ridge Surgical Specialists in Wyomissing. If you have questions about screening for colon cancer and colonoscopy, please call our offices at 610.375.0500.

– Spring Ridge Surgical Specialists

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Picture of Dr. Robert Howard, Dr. Joseph Levan and Dr. Thomas Beetel of Spring Ridge Surgical Specialists

The Three Best Questions to Ask Your General Surgeon Before Surgery

Taking An Active Role in Planning For General Surgery

As consumers, it’s very much second nature for us to gather and sort through masses of information on countless products and services, choosing the one we think will work best.   When taking on the role of patient, however, sometimes there is a hesitancy to ask questions about concerns that could have a major impact on our health. If you can relate to the feeling of “I should’ve asked”, Spring Ridge Surgical Specialists would like to offer three of the best questions to ask your surgeon prior to general surgery.

Discussing General Surgery’s Surgical Methods

First, of course, is asking about the type of surgery and surgical method that will be utilized. Used to treat many conditions within the abdomen, including the colon and hiatal hernias, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery uses keyhole-sized incisions to access and address areas of concern. As we shared in a previous post, What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?, the advantage of minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery is a much quicker recovery period when compared to traditional open surgery with its large incision and lengthy recovery.

Become Familiar with Your Hospital

The second question to ask your general surgeon prior to surgery is equally important. Just as you select a surgeon based on comfort level and expertise, it’s best to become familiar with the surgical hospital where your surgeon will perform your procedure. Typically, surgeons are affiliated with specific surgical hospitals, so when you choose your surgeon, you are in effect also choosing the surgical hospital where your procedure will occur. Ask your surgeon what advantages the surgical hospital offers, compared to others in the area, so you have confidence in where your surgery will occur. In our practice, surgeons Dr. Thomas Beetel, Dr. Robert Howard, and Dr. Joseph Levan perform minimally invasive endoscopic, laparoscopic and robotic procedures at Surgical Institute of Reading, including laparoscopic treatment of incisional and inguinal hernias, reflux, as well as conditions of the colon and gallbladder.   Our practice is also affiliated with and performs procedures at Penn State Health St. Joseph and Reading Health, respectively.

For Your Health’s Sake, Ask Away!

Lastly, ask questions about what you can expect during your recovery period after surgery. How long will you stay in the hospital after surgery? Will you need to be driven home by a friend or family member after surgery? Will someone need to assist you with your personal care during recovery? How soon will you be able resume regular activities, including returning to work? Knowing the answer to these and other questions prior to surgery can make all the difference in having a positive surgical experience and outcome.

To Your Best Health,

Spring Ridge Surgical Specialists
2758 Century Boulevard, Suite 1
Wyomissing, PA 19610

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