The Test No One Wants to Talk About, but Everyone (of age) Needs! A Colonoscopy (koh-luh-NAH-skuh-pee)!

Colonoscopy-TipsThe dreaded Colonoscopy (koh-luh-NAH-skuh-pee) – the procedure most folks want to avoid, but shouldn’t! A colonoscopy incorporates a small, lighted, flexible tube with a fibre-optic camera used to look inside your entire large intestine (if your surgeon is good!), from the lowest part, the rectum, all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine. Why you might ask? The purpose is to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum as well as diagnose the causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. Colonoscopy results puts eyes on inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, ulcers, and bleeding.

If you are 50 years of age, aside from planning your birthday party – schedule your colonoscopy! If you have a family history of colon cancer, schedule a colonoscopy at age 40! Although it isn’t a fun thing to have done, it is very important in detecting early cancer. Colorectal cancer is not rare and is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths.

After your first procedure, when do you have to endure the fun again? Well, that depends on the results! While every patient and case is different, a good rule of thumb is the average male or female with no family history of colorectal cancer and one who has had the procedure at age 40 or 50 with no problems, should have a follow-up every ten years. If you did have positive findings to any degree, a follow-up colonoscopy will most likely be recommended one (1) to five (5) years based on your risk level.

Before the procedure, you will be given pain medication and a mild sedative to keep you comfortable and to help you relax during the exam. Board Certified General Surgeon, Dr. Jerry Guanciale, will insert a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope (koh-LON-oh-skope) into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. The scope bends, so Dr. Guanciale can move it around the curves of your colon. The scope also blows air into your colon, which inflates the colon to help him see better.

If anything abnormal is seen in your colon, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, Dr. Guanciale can remove all or part of it using tiny instruments passed through the scope. Polyps can be removed while the colonoscopy is being performed and then examined for signs of cancer by a pathologist. If there is bleeding in the colon, he can pass a laser, heater probe, or electrical probe, or can inject special medicines through the scope used to stop the bleeding.

The benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to colonoscopies. Two of the more serious risks include heavy bleeding from having a large polyp removed and tearing of the colon lining (rare if performed with experience!). Some people report abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, cramping or fatigue after a procedure. The fatigue is usually due to the after effects of the sedative and the liquid diet. Risk is higher in elderly patients or people with a history of diabetes, stroke or heart failure.

The colonoscopy procedure itself will not prevent cancer, but removal of found polyps will prevent or early detect cancers of the colon. Most, but not all, colon cancers originate with polyps, which is why a colonoscopy is so important.

Is it time for you to schedule? Consult with Dr. Jerry Guanciale – years of endoscopy experience! Most insurances accepted! General & Cosmetic Surgical Specialists of Arizona – 5300 Hwy 95, Suite A in Fort Mohave, AZ 86426. Phone: (928) 768-1616

Posted in Gastroenterology Services, Surgery, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Suffering from Esophagitis (uh-sof-uh-JIE-tis)? Avoid This … Eat That!

1You may think it’s just heartburn so it’s nothing to worry about, but consistent heartburn and reflux can leave a surprisingly deadly impact on your health!

The esophagus is a muscular tube connecting the mouth to the stomach, allowing for food to pass through easily. Esophagitis is a general term for any inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the inner lining (mucosa) of the tube. It results in tissue damage to the esophagus. If undiagnosed or untreated, esophagitis can cause problems with swallowing, ulcers, scarring of the esophagus, or “Barrett’s esophagus,” which can be a precursor to esophageal cancer. Symptoms include painful swallowing, sore throat, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, decrease in appetite, chest and abdominal pain, for example.

Treatment often includes medication, but limiting certain foods may alleviate symptoms.

Foods to AVOID

Certain foods are known to relax the esophageal sphincter. Usually relaxation is good – this is an exception. Relaxation of the valve that allows food to pass through the esophagus to the stomach may result in a backup of stomach acids into the esophagus and cause esophagitis. Spicy and fried foods, chocolate, caffeine and carbonated drinks, tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruits, alcohol, tobacco, garlic, and mint should be avoided to alleviate symptoms of esophagitis.

Even if your condition is not caused by food allergies, you can ease your symptoms by avoiding spicy foods, acidic foods and drinks, and raw or hard foods. Take smaller bites and chew your food well. Avoid tobacco and alcohol since both increase inflammation and suppress the immune system.

Also, avoid eating or drinking AT LEAST 30 minutes before going to bed. To help even more, elevate your head when sleeping.

Foods to EAT!

Symptoms of esophagitis can be painful, making eating difficult. Choose soft foods like applesauce, oatmeal, grits, mashed potatoes, puddings, ice cream, custard, soft cooked eggs and high-protein shakes or smoothies to ensure adequate caloric intake.

Esophagitis usually responds to lifestyle changes and medical treatment. In most cases, an upper endoscopy (EGD) will be recommended. An EGD is a procedure used to visually examine your upper digestive system with a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube – used to diagnose and, sometimes, treat conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine.

Simple heartburn isn’t so simple … don’t avoid the symptoms! Consult with Board Certified General Surgeon, Dr. Jerry Guanciale, to see if you have a reason to be concerned! With over 20 years of experience offering Gastroenterology services, Dr. Guanciale is here in Fort Mohave, AZ to care for you! Consult today – 928.768.1616!

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How do you control your Holiday Cravings?

imagesIt’s Holiday Time – that means parties, food, drinks, and more! What is your favorite trick to control your holiday cravings? We shared a few of ours with you below! Happy Holidays!

Holiday Control Suggestion #1: Eat low to high when you are evaluating calories. Begin with a broth-based soup or salad, then choose a lean protein, and hopefully, by the time you reach the part of the night where you are being offered cheesecake, Christmas cookies or triple-fudge brownies, a few bites will be all you need to feel satisfied or maybe none at all!

Holiday Control Suggestion #2:
Hydrate! Daily rule of thumb, drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, leading to mindless snacking that never satiates. For added detoxification, try adding ginger or lemon.

Holiday Control Suggestion #3: You can gain weight even if you eat healthy with veggies and fruits – the key is avoid the dips that often complement these healthy foods during the holiday events. Folks will often use healthy foods as “vessels” to gorge on unhealthy treats such as dips and more. Be sure you are not eating something based solely on its health-food aura and keep an eye on your portion sizes.

Holiday Control Suggestion #4: Three bites and then put the fork down! Stick to the three-bite rule for desserts: The first bite is the best, the last the grand finale, and every bite in between is the same. In three bites, you get the full dessert experience, you’re less likely to overindulge.

Holiday Control Suggestion #5: Go to social gatherings to gather…not to EAT! Use these times to socialize and be present rather than rummaging for holiday treats. A good idea is to “pre-eat” something with protein and vegetables to stabilize your blood sugar so you can keep your focus away from the food table and on your party guests.

Holiday Control Suggestion #6: Don’t “save up” calories in prep for a gathering. Fasting before a big meal can be detrimental to your controlled eating success. If you do not eat, low blood sugar from hunger increases cortisol levels, which leads to cravings for fatty, salty, and sugary foods. Instead of saving up for the big meal, nibble on healthy snacks like raw veggies, nuts, and fruit throughout the day to avoid a full-blown gorge fest. behind.

Holiday Control Suggestion #7: Sugar hides … you know the obvious places during the holidays were sugar lives such as cheesecake and egg nog, but watch closely the hidden places like sauces, seasonings, and processed foods. Sugar and carbs also hide in cocktails! Try to rotate – 1 cocktail then 1 glass of water then 1 cocktail and 1 glass of water, etc.

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Are you a Sucker for Snack Time? Be a Smart Snacker …

If you are trying to watch what you eat, but find yourself battling the hunger pains, you don’t have to ignore your stomach’s request for food … you just have to be smart about your choices! Get over the hunger hump with smart snacks to keep your metabolism moving and cravings at bay until the next meal. I could list a bunch of smart snacks, but this time we are going to focus on the snacks that you THINK might be healthy and really, they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Choosing the wrong foods during snack time could hinder your weight loss. Sugars, fats and carbs love to hide in foods disguised or packaged as “healthy.”

Pretzels: Yes, better than potato chips, but not even a good choice on their own merit. This tasty snack is high in sodium — almost 20 percent of your daily intake is in one serving of pretzels. As you know, sodium = water retention, bloating, and too much sodium over time can lead to heart disease.

Baby Carrots: A popular dieting snack and actually they are okay to eat, but they will not keep the hunger at bay for very long unless you combine the carrots with a protein such as hummus or peanut butter.

imagesCA2XID2LRice Cakes: Albeit low in calories and zero fat, rice cakes are high on the glycemic index. Pure sugar has a rating of 100 – rice cakes have a rating of 82 making them not a smart snack! If you are not up to speed on glycemic index, related foods, and its impact on your body as well as your weight control success – I suggest you learn. It’s one of the key items you should be watching if you are watching your weight!

Yogurt: Not all yogurts are the same and actually most yogurts are high in sugar from the artificial flavoring and contain little to no protein. While the bacteria in yogurt is good for your gut health, why not choose plain (not vanilla) Greek yogurt to maximize your gut health benefits as well as your overall health since Greek yogurt is low in sugar and contains healthy proteins.

Bottled Smoothies: Healthy? Usually, yes, if you drink only the recommended one (1) serving at a time. Eagle eye the total servings in each bottle – usually more than 1 – which means you should multiple that low calories per serving by 2 or 3 if you drink it all at once. Yep, no longer healthy!

Crackers: Cheese crackers and other crackers are high in simple carbs, which spike your blood sugar and create cravings, the exact opposite you’re trying to accomplish by snacking.

‘100-calorie’ Treats: Studies have shown that the 100-calorie packs of cookies like Oreos and Chips Ahoy actually cause more problems than they solve when it comes to weight loss. People tend to eat more of them because they are perceived as healthy, even though they are, in fact, still cookies.

Make smart snacking decisions and your watching your weight will no longer be an uphill battle. Good luck!

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So Many Soap Options … What to do? Which to Pick?

products2With all the new skin care products and tools, it can be confusing trying to decide the best way to wash your face. Not too long ago, the only choices you had in facial cleansers were bar soap and cold creams. Now, entire store aisles are devoted to various facial cleansing options. Facial cleansing is important because the face has so many sebaceous glands that the skin is oilier. In addition, we apply cosmetics and products that create a film on the skin, trapping pollutants from the environment like dust and cigarette smoke. You would think the face needs some aggressive cleansing.

Before you go scrubbing away all that oil and grime, you should understand how delicate the skin on your face is. The top layer of the face’s skin, the stratum corneum, has fewer cell layers than any other part of the body except the genitalia. This thinner layer makes the skin more easily irritated. Also, because the face moves so much and has so many nerve endings, it’s easier to notice tightness there. This combination means the skin has the potential to get irritated.

An important guideline to follow when deciding how to wash your face is this: Use the mildest cleanser that gets rid of oil and residue.

Now may be a good time to point out that you shouldn’t use the same soap for your face that you use for your body, even if you’re using liquid cleanser for your body. Facial soaps are designed specifically for sensitive facial skin, and even the mildest body soap is too hard on the face.

Our office now offers ZO Medical® and ZO Skin Health® products which includes an array of products allowing us to customize a plan! ZO Medical® has several facial cleansers designed with you in mind!

Oilacleanse™- Cleanser for normal to oily skin
Normacleanse™- Cleanser for normal to dry skin
Foamacleanse™- Gentle foaming face cleanser

Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr. Jerry M. Guanciale and Licensed Aesthetician, Kristin, team up at General & Cosmetic Surgical Specialists of Arizona located at 5300 Hwy 95, Suite A in Fort Mohave, AZ to design a custom skin care regimen just for you! Call today – (928) 768-1616

Learn more – click here:

Posted in Face/Neck/Eye, Non-Surgical Treatments, Skin Peels/Chemical Peels, Skincare Products | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Your Skin will Sing the Vitamin A,B,C’s and even the D’s if you Pay Attention to Ingredients

1003070_164406210411925_63927993_nThe “A” in vitamin A could stand for “anti-aging” given it is the most effective vitamin to fight acne, reduce fine lines, soften the skin, decrease pore size and reduce skin discoloration. Vitamin A works at the cellular level of skin to rejuvenate and correct.

When looking for a topical skincare product, be sure to review the ingredients list. Concentrated, potent ingredients will be listed first or early in the list. You want Vitamin A to be one of the first few, for sure!

The “B” in vitamin B3 could really stand for the “barrier”! Vitamin B3 acts as a barrier between your skin and the harsh environment blocking out pollution, smoke, free radicals! All of those external damaging agents break down your skin’s integrity leading to dull, winkled skin!

Fight back with skincare products containing B3 – look for niacin and/or niacinamide on the ingredients list.

When you think “C” vitamin think “corrector”! Vitamin C is the damage reverser because it’s used to reduce and correct sun damage as well as discoloration while it strengthens the skin through collagen production. Consistent use of Vitamin C in your skin care regimen can also fight future sun damage. The Vitamin C shelters the skin from UV rays soaking them up rather than letting them pass through which protects your skin from the damaging rays. Who knew?!

Topical skincare products that contain vitamins are great, for sure, but amp up your skincare health with a vitamin rich diet and supplements!

When you think of vitamin “D” you probably think it’s a skin “destroyer” because a common vehicle to receive a dose of it is via sun exposure, but give vitamin D another chance! It’s key to healthy skin as well and like other vitamins, as you age, the levels of vitamin D drop in the body. Using a skincare product and supplements that include vitamin D will help brighten dull skin, improve skin elasticity, and fight inflammation and acne. And a controlled. sunscreened dose of vitamin D via sun exposure is always good for the soul!

Posted in Face/Neck/Eye, Non-Surgical Treatments, Skincare Products, Special Events/Information | Leave a comment

Healthy & Fit, but still need some Help? … SLIMLipo Laser Liposuction

fit-coupleDid you know that your body holds a limited number of fat cells? Gaining weight does not mean you increase the number of fat cells in your body rather it means the fat cells you have are simply increasing in size! When you undergo a liposuction (laser or traditional) procedure, targeted area’s fat cells are permanently removed from the body. Post-liposuction procedure, if you gain weight, your weight will not accumulate in the area previously treated with liposuction rather it will reappear in another area of your body where fat cells remain. This is why it is important to maintain healthy habits and body weight post-procedure.

Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits, improving body contours and proportion resulting in an enhanced self-image. This procedure is NOT intended as a weight loss treatment and is not a replacement for regular exercise and good eating habits.

Despite relatively good eating and health habits along with a reasonable level of fitness, some people may still have a body with disproportionate contours due to stubborn, localized fat deposits.

SLIMLipo Laser Liposuction can be used to treat stubborn fat pockets in many parts of the body including the inner and outer thighs, arms, neck and jowls, upper and lower abdomen, hips, waist, back, knees, chest, calves, and ankles.

Your improved body contour will be apparent immediately following a laser liposuction procedure and even more visible as swelling and fluid retention subside through the six-eight week healing process. Another added benefit of choosing SLIMLipo Laser Liposuction over a traditional liposuction procedure – the laser heat aids in rebuilding skin elasticity which results in tighter, younger looking skin as you heal.

Are you considering SLIMing down with SLIMLipo Laser Liposuction? If so, consult with DUAL BOARD CERTIFIED in General and Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Jerry Guanciale today! General & Cosmetic Surgical Specialists of Arizona | 5300 Hwy 95, Suite A Fort Mohave, AZ 86426 | Phone: (928) 768-1616.

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