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Question re prep for Sigmoidoscopy (versus colonoscopy)

Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2012

I hope this question is OK to ask here, let me know if the questions isn't appropriate. So far I the biopsy have only come back stating precancerous. At this point I understand I don't have the worries that I am sorry most of you have. I have been on pins and needles twice, waiting for results.

History: I had a large polyp, a few smaller ones removed and gave me my first tattoos during a colonoscopy last spring. Doctor mentioned that if the polyp, was something (cancer?), I would be in for surgery. Biopsy indicated precancerous. Was scheduled for a followup in three months, which took six months to find an appointment. Second colonoscopy doctor said area where he removed previous looked healthy, and grabbed a sample for biopsy, almost as an afterthought, I think. Future colonoscopies every three years. Doctor called me today, said biopsy showed precancerous stuff. Wanted to do a sigmoidoscopy and burn the area where the polyps were removed. Said I could do far less prep, magnesium citrate and a couple of enemas. Followup colonoscopy every one to two years.

Questions: I was kind of surprised to hear that he wanted to burn (cauterize?) the problem polyp area instead of either more cutting out during a colonoscopy or surgery. Is this the best choice?

I am nervous letting the next colonoscopy go for one to two years, I think he did agree to one year. Shouldn't he be checking the results from his proposed burning of the problem polyp area in another three months?

Last question, I think I would rather do another round of Gavilyte-N than a couple of enemas (and magnesium citrate.) He said I didn't have to do the five days of prep (restricting high fiber, nuts, etc..) I don't mind the Gavilyte-N, it doesn't taste horrible, and I would rather down it than do a couple of enemas. Am I just a wuss? I don't recall ever having an enema in my life, and not sure I want to find out what I think of them now.

One good part of the last six months is doctor said I have an easy colon. One that doctors in training would like to have when doing a colonoscopy for evaluation. I didn't have any drugs (my choice) for my second colonoscopy. My real blessing is that so far, I don't have any cancer, and I am real sorry for all of you dealing with it.



Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Glad you stopped in here and that your biopsy results have been precancerous only.

As to your questions being appropriate, while not the ususal ones we get because most have a cancer diagnosis, they deal with something we are too familiar with scopes and prep.

I have not heard of a general area cauterization, but that doesn't mean it isn't effective. When in doubt about treatment plan from any doctor it is a good idea to get a second opinion from a doctor not associated with your current doctor's group.

I tend to agree with you that waiting a year or two for the next scope seems risky given the history you have shared here. I think this is another good reason for a second opinion.

As to the prep, I don't see why your doc wouldn't go with what you tolerated well before. The mag citrate is tough for me to get thru...the over powering citrus taste is almost too much for me. Enema's are not a big deal but can be difficult to self administer.

I am so very glad that you got your scope and are able to deal with this in the "pre" stages. I hope you are telling all your friends and relatives to get one done as well.

Best wishes,

Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2012

Marie who loves kitties,

Thanks for the information. I wish the all of you on this board were dealing with your problems at the same stage I am. And you bet I am telling everyone I know the benefits of having a colonoscopy. There are a few I haven't been able to convince, yet...but they are going to hear more from me until I know they have had there colonoscopy. My closest friends have all dealt with one of "our" kids having leukemia and another adult having a brain tumor, you would think they would be jumping on the bandwagon.

I think I will pursue your idea of a second opinion is the best way to go. I do think the doctor performing my colonoscopy my GP referred me to is a good doctor. However, I think i will ask my GP for a second referral. It will be interesting to see if anyone else has had a polyp burned off...

The prep...I wonder if my doctor thinks the prep he mentioned is easier than the prep he prescribed for the colonoscopy. I would have to perform the enema myself, and have wondered how that would work.

Thanks for the reply and information, take care and I hope your treatment goes well,


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"However, I think i will ask my GP for a second referral. "

"Second opinions" should not come from physicians that are of the
same group or organization.

You didn't say what part of the world you are in, but in the "states",
you have the right to seek other opinions without having to ask for
a "referral". Referrals are usually needed within a specific health care
system, and for their own needs, but you can make an appointment
with a physician out of that system, without a referral.

Having your GP pick your second opinion may not allow for the
objectivity needed that can be had by choosing someone totally
apart from your present health care providers.

You aren't insulting any physician by seeking other opinions. Most
physicians welcome other opinions, since many times they learn of
new procedures and techniques that they wouldn't know about
otherwise. Physicians are often too busy in their practice, and just
do not have the time to research, or be "re-schooled". If a physician
gets insulted, or balks at a patient's interest in getting a second
opinion, that should be reason enough to seek a different provider.

There's no room for stubbornness or prejudice when it comes
to your health care! Objectivity is the key to success.

Best wishes,


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