Wellness comes in many forms and flavors. Preventing disease should be priority number one for all of us. Reacting to a problem is never a good approach. Coby Tyner, the Practice Administrator for Liver Specialists of Texas shares his colonoscopy experience with all of us (thanks Coby!).
- If you are African American, start getting screened at age 45
- If you are not African American, start at age 50 (assuming you don’t have a family history or other medical conditions)
- The prep is not all that bad, and should NOT be an obstacle to getting screened.
Below is Coby’s experience in his own words:
My Colonoscopy Experience-by Coby Tyner
I am thankful to Dr. Galati, the Liver Specialists of Texas staff and our partners at the Texas International Endoscopy Center, for a great patient centered experience.
My decision to get a colonoscopy (and now share my experience with you in this blog) is for two reasons. 1. As an African American male, the American College of Gastroenterology recommends I start the screening process at 45 years of age instead of the 50-55 age range for other groups. As I discussed on Dr. Galati’s radio show, “Your Health First,” my hope is to encourage African Americans to put aside fears, some of which are well founded, and get a screening colonoscopy. As my boss says from time to time, the facts themselves are scary – African Americans are one of the least screened populations with the highest rates of colon cancer found. 2. I have a history of diverticulitis and the condition has at times reared its ugly head.
So, without withholding anything from you, here is my experience with my recent colonoscopy:
· Overall, the Liver Specialists of Texas team (including Dr. Galati) was great from start to finish.
· The initial office visit was timely (didn’t have to wait too long).
· Dr. Galati had to put his hands on me with a detailed exam (a lot of palpation of my abdomen).
· The Liver of Specialists of Texas scheduling staff did a great job of coordinating the procedure with the Texas International Endoscopy Center (TIEC) which is where the procedure took place.
· TIEC personnel did an admirable job communicating with me about the time of the procedure, the expected cost(s), and all the expectations. As a patient, I was not surprised when I arrived (specifically, there were no additional obligations, unexpected costs, and/or expectations) which is always important to any patient.
· Taking the prep – I opted for the Movi Prep. Initially, it took me a while to start the cleansing process (using the restroom) but when it started, it didn’t stop until early in the morning (1AM or so). On the scale of 1-10, the taste of the Movi Prep was “at best” a 5. Not the best prep if you’re primarily concerned about the taste. For me, the priority was it doing the job well. Cleaning me out (not the taste).
· After a very brief wait in the lobby, I was escorted back to triage.
· TIEC personnel completed a good history and physical and prepped me for the procedure.
· Dr. Galati, the Nurse Anesthetists, and the Procedure Tech, all approved moving forward with the procedure (I had to give them my name, DOB, and the type of procedure being performed). Dr. Galati explained the procedure (for the third time). This process is called a “Time Out.”
· After sedation and the going through the procedure, I woke up in recovery with a minimal level of discomfort.
· After the procedure, Dr. Galati visited with me and gave me specifics on what was found and how the procedure went.
· A registered nurse provided good care and instruction to me on what to expect during the next 24 hours.
· I was discharged to home where I rested.
So overall, the experience was a good one. Most importantly, I am reasonably assured there are no major problems with my GI functions (such as colon cancer). As an added bonus, I won’t have to be screened again for another 10 years. I encourage all interested patients, as well as those they may have concerns, to put aside any fears and get a screening colonoscopy without delay. The assurance of being healthy far outweighs the artificial comfort of not knowing (and still being at risk).