Danbury Hospital makes colonoscopies easier

An excerpt of Article ID: 8074292 (Jan. 25, 2008)

The procedure of colonoscopy is a piece of cake; but the cleansing process the day before that wears you out. Dr. Joseph Fiorito, chief of gastroenterology at Danbury Hospital said. it is probably the biggest deterrent to colorectal screening.

We want to be a colon cancer-free area, said Frank Kelly, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer. To do it, it is  important for us to find any barriers to getting screening.

Danbury Hospital is now pioneering a different approach to the run a dozen times to the toilet drill that normally accompanies a colonoscopy. Called colon hydrotherapy, it involves a gentle, thorough flush of the large intestine done in the hospital 45 minutes before the colonoscopy.

Danbury Hospital is the first hospital in the state to offer colon hydrotherapy. Fiorito said since adopting the technology, the hospital has found patients much prefer it to the old way.

Colonoscopies are the most important tool doctors have to prevent colon cancer —the third leading (now the second leading Dr. Han) cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. With the screening test, doctors are able to examine the entire colon. If they find a polyp— or small growth inside, they can remove it during the procedure.

“Colon cancers start as polyps, Fiorito said. if you remove polyp, you remove the potential for cancer. We could prevent 100 percent of colon cancers. I believe that”.

The problem is that patients have to clean out their colons for screening to succeed. That can involve drinking cup after cup of a diarrhea-inducing solution, the most familiar one is marketed as Colyte. Or it can mean a three-step bowel cleansing preparation.

In either case, Fiorito said, patients must spend a day at home before the day of the test, while the prep kit does its work. It can also mean a lot of discomfort.

For elderly patients with cardiac or kidney problems, it can mean stress on systems that don’t need that stress. Often, Fiorito said, it means people just decide to skip the whole thing.

Fiorito did a comparative study, offering 50 patients Colyte, 50 patients phosphor-soda, and 50 (colon) hydrotherapy. Overwhelmingly, he said, the patients favored hydrotherapy. The hospital is now offering it as an alternative for all colonoscopy patients.

It is more comfortable, it is more convenient, and it saves patients money, he said. They don’nt  have to take an extra day off.


Author(s): Robert Miller Staff Writer

Date: Jan. 25, 2008; Section: Local; News Article ID: 8074292 (Newsbank)

Video Testimony: CBS link







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