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New GI Procedure Eliminates Surgery

Dr. Saad A. Haque, gastroenterologist with Calvert Physician Associates at Calvert Memorial Hospital, was recently certified by the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) to perform Endoscopic Mucosal Resection of large colonic polyps. 

After age 50, all patients require screening for colon cancer. The precursor lesions for colon cancer are usually colon polyps. During a colonoscopy, gastroenterologists look for these polyps very carefully and cut them out, hence preventing colon cancer.

On occasion, these polyps are very large, and if removed through the scope, carry a high risk of perforating the colon during the process. So, patients are often asked to have a portion of their colon removed surgically, which is a significantly more invasive procedure, with multiple days of hospitalization and recuperation required as compared to a colonoscopy.

This new procedure, when performed by an experienced, trained gastroenterologist, allows the removal of larger colon polyps through a scope without the need for surgery, allowing the patient to return home the very same day, with no major significant discomfort.

To date, only 40 gastroenterologists in the country have been certified by the ASGE for this procedure.  

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