POINT PLEASANT — Simple and potentially life-saving endoscopy procedures, including colonoscopies and EGDs (esophagastroduodenoscopies), are now offered on Saturdays at Pleasant Valley Hospital.
“At Pleasant Valley Hospital, we are working diligently to expand our services in order to meet the health needs of our community,” said Pleasant Valley Hospital CEO Glen Washington, FACHE. “We know our patients have busy lives, and we are always looking for ways to make health care more convenient and accessible for patients and their families.”
Marshall surgeon Arthur Fine, MD, FACS, said endoscopy procedures, while common, regularly save lives. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and regular colonoscopy screenings are the best way to find colorectal cancer early, when it is still curable. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women have a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50 or earlier for those at a higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. Colonoscopies can also detect ulcers, inflammation and bleeding in the large intestine, as well as prevent cancer from ever occurring by finding and removing abnormalities before they have a chance to turn into cancer.
“A colonoscopy is a straightforward, outpatient procedure, but it does require fasting and the assistance of a friend or family member to help you home afterward,” Fine said. “That’s what makes Saturday appointments so beneficial to our patients. They can return to normal activities immediately and are fully recovered from the procedure before going back to work on Monday.”
Other endoscopy procedures are also offered on Saturdays at Pleasant Valley Hospital, including EGDs. While a colonoscopy provides imaging of the large intestine and rectum, an EGD provides imaging of the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small intestine. Both colonoscopies and EGDs use an endoscope, a flexible fiber optic tube with a light and camera attached to it, to view the digestive tract. Dr. Fine said the scope is a valuable diagnostic tool, able to locate tumors and other abnormalities with precision.
“Scopes are used for diagnostic purposes,” Fine said. “We look mostly at issues that may be causing pain —heartburn, chest pain, abdominal pain — and we even look for causes of anemia.”
Washington said finding ways to help individuals stay healthy, like offering convenient and accessible endoscopy procedures, makes the entire community richer. For more information about endoscopy at Pleasant Valley Hospital or to schedule an appointment, call 304-675-1666.