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Heath

Why Might I Need an Endoscopy?

If you or someone you know has been scheduled for an endoscopy of your digestive tract, you may have some questions about the procedure. Gastroenterologist Dr. Omer Masood has answered a few of the inquiries he receives from his patients at DigestiveCareNY, his gastroenterology practice in East Meadow, New York.

What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy, also known as an EGD or an upper GI, is a diagnostic procedure that your East Meadow gastroenterologist uses to diagnose a variety of digestive issues. A tiny camera affixed with a light is attached to a thin tube that is placed into your digestive tract through your mouth. This allows your East Meadow gastroenterologist, Dr. Omer Masood, to view the inner workings of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine on a screen placed next to you. An endoscopy is a 15- to 20-minute outpatient procedure that typically uses an intravenous sedative; this will make you drowsy, and you will likely not remember the procedure when you wake up.

Why do I need an endoscopy?

When patients who need endoscopies visit Dr. Omer Masood at DigestiveCareNY, they often complain of frequent heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea or swallowing problems. These symptoms can indicate conditions such as ulcers, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), infections or tumors. Your East Meadow gastroenterologist can more accurately diagnose and treat digestive problems through the use of an endoscope.

How do I prepare for an endoscopy?

The typical preparation for endoscopy involves the restriction of food and drink (with the exception of clear liquids) after midnight on the day before your procedure. Clear liquids should be stopped at least 4 hours before the scheduled start time of the endoscopy to ensure your East Meadow gastroenterologist will have an unobstructed view of your digestive tract. You should also plan to have a friend or family member drive you home after your endoscopy, as you may still be drowsy from the sedative.

If you have further questions or concerns about an endoscopy, feel free to contact DigestiveCareNY to speak to one of our gastroenterology professionals in East Meadow.

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Heath

What To Do If You Have Acid Reflux

What To Do If You Have Acid Reflux

If you experience recurrent bouts of heartburn or acid reflux, you’re not alone. Many Americans experience this burning pain for a variety of reasons. But there is help. If you experience acid reflux often, a visit to your East Meadow gastroenterologist Dr. Omer K. Masood may help relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

At the end of your esophagus, at the opening to your stomach, there is a valve that opens and closes to let food pass into the stomach and keep it there. Occasionally this valve, called the lower esophageal sphincter, does not close which causes stomach acid to rise up and burn the sensitive lining of your esophagus. Common causes of this esophageal dysfunction include:

  • Hiatal hernia
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Spicy or acidic foods
  • Lying down after eating a large meal

Symptoms Associated with Acid Reflux

If you are experiencing acid reflux, you may feel more than heartburn. You may also experience a sore throat, foul taste in your mouth, and excessive hiccupping. You might also notice nausea, weight loss, or vomiting. If you experience these symptoms, seek care from your East Meadow gastroenterologist Dr. Masood.

Risks of Acid Reflux

Aside from the symptoms of acid reflux such as pain and sickness, chronic acid reflux can have more severe and life-threatening effects. Prolonged reflux can damage the lining of the esophagus causing dysphagia, or a difficulty in swallowing food. Untreated acid reflux can even lead to bleeding ulcers, scarring that damages the function of the esophagus, and esophageal cancer.

What to Do

If you suffer from acid reflux more than twice a week, your gastroenterologist may be able to help resolve your symptoms or help you learn which events trigger an acid reflux episode. They may offer advice on diet or eating routines that could help limit the triggers.

If you are a smoker, quitting tobacco can help relieve acid reflux. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about getting to a healthier weight. Avoid eating close to bedtime and try smaller meals. Take note if certain foods bother you such as chocolate, onions, or garlic and avoid those if they seem to be a trigger.

If you’ve tried home remedies without success or if you’re experiencing excessive weight loss, vomiting, or trouble swallowing, see your gastroenterologist right away. Dr. Omer K. Masood and the gastroenterology staff at Digestive Care NY in East Meadow can offer diagnosis and treatment for your acid reflux. Schedule an appointment for a consultation today.

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Heath

Signs you need a colonoscopy

Signs you need a colonoscopy

Like many medical procedures, a colonoscopy isn’t something that people enjoy. Although the test itself is painless, the preparation involved is widely considered to be inconvenient. This can cause many people to delay having a colonoscopy, sometimes avoiding it altogether. However, having this screening performed can be a life-saving procedure. In this blog, gastroenterologist Dr. Omer Masood helps his patients understand when and why they need to visit DigestiveCareNY in East Meadow, New York for an evaluation.

Are you over 50?

As with many other cancers, the chance of colon cancer developing increases with age. This is why the vast majority of the medical community, including your East Meadow gastroenterologist, recommend that men and women between the ages of 50 and 75 have a colonoscopy every 10 years, provided that they do not have an elevated risk of colorectal cancer.

Do you have a family history of colon cancer?

People who have a personal or family history of colorectal cancers should be evaluated more often. If you have Chron’s Disease, ulcerative colitis or other bowel abnormalities, you may also need to have a colonoscopy or other tests performed regularly. Your East Meadow gastroenterologist can help you identify your risk factors and determine the best course of action for screenings.

Have you had a change in your bowel habits?

Regardless of age, any unexplained and ongoing change in bowel habits – frequency, consistency, or onset of pain or bleeding, should be evaluated by your East Meadow gastroenterologist. These symptoms don’t necessarily mean cancer, and treatment may be as simple as a diet change, but early detection will help prevent any complications and alleviate discomfort sooner.

There are other screenings available that can help diagnose bowel problems. If you fit into one or more of the categories listed above and haven’t yet had a colonoscopy, call DigestiveCareNY in East Meadow today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Omer Masood.

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Heath

FAQs about Hemorrhoids

FAQs about Hemorrhoids

Your East Meadow gastroenterologist answers all your questions about this uncomfortable but common problem. 

It might feel a bit embarrassing to talk about it but if you are noticing irritation, pain or bleeding during bowel movements, then you may be dealing with an all too common condition known as hemorrhoids. This helpful information may just help you figure out whether it’s time to book an appointment with your East Meadow gastroenterologist.
What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are a group of dilated blood vessels that appear around and within the first few inches of the anus. There are two forms: internal and external hemorrhoids.

What are the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids?

If you have hemorrhoids you may experience itching or irritation around the anus, as well as swelling and pain. There could be bleeding present after bowel movements or you might notice small spots of bright blood when you wipe. There may even be a sensitive lump near your anus.
What causes this condition?While there is no exact or defined cause of hemorrhoids there are certain lifestyle factors that could make you more prone to developing hemorrhoids:

  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Heredity
  • Overuse of laxatives
  • Prolonged periods sitting on the toilet

Every time you use the restroom the tissues, that contain these vessels, stretch causing the vessels to dilate. If this stretching continues to happen, the vessel will begin to stick out.

How does my East Meadow, NY gastroenterologist diagnose hemorrhoids?

For those with external hemorrhoids, we can easily diagnose this condition by performing a physical exam. To diagnose internal hemorrhoids, we may perform a digital rectal exam to feel for any growths or abnormalities. For those over the age of 50 and those at risk of colorectal cancer, we may also recommend that you have a colonoscopy performed.

What are the most common treatments?

Luckily the majority of hemorrhoid cases can be treated at home. Your East Meadow gastroenterologist is happy to recommend certain over-the-counter creams and medications to help reduce irritation or itching. However, these ointments should not be used for longer than a week.

For patients suffering from painful hemorrhoids, a minimally invasive treatment known as rubber band ligation can help to cut off the hemorrhoid’s circulation and let it die. Larger hemorrhoids may need to be removed through regular surgical removal procedures.

Are your symptoms caused by hemorrhoids?
Are you experiencing distressing symptoms like blood in your stool? Don’t wait to find out. Schedule an appointment today with your East Meadow gastroenterologist, Dr. Omer Masood at DigestiveCare NY.