The Pezim Clinic: Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Centre
The Pezim Clinic is the first free-standing gastrointestinal diagnostic and treatment centre in BC. The gastrointestinal diagnostic clinis has been designed to meet the needs of patients with various disorders of the gastrointestinal tract in addition to those who are concerned about preventing gastrointestinal disease.
Intestinal disorders cause patients a significant amount of worry and discomfort for people who are affected. While concerning, gastrointestinal disorders are rarely immediately life-threatening. However, patients may experience waits for consultation, diagnosis and treatment in BC. Pezim Clinic staff are trained to understand the needs of patients who have gastrointestinal disorders. As a free-standing gastrointestinal centre with its own diagnostic and treatment facilities, the Pezim Clinic can provide the majority of consultations, investigations and treatments within two weeks of a patient's request.
Rapid diagnosis and treatment of anorectal conditions in Vancouver
Colonoscopy and biopsy/polypectomy
Vancouver's Pezim Clinic staff has performed over 3,000 colonoscopies, with no significant patient complications. Colonoscopy is the most accurate way to assess the colon and rectum for polyps and other anal abnormalities. A colonoscope is a long, flexible instrument (160 cm) that can be guided by the operator throughout the colon. The colonoscope has either a digital viewing capability or fibre optic that provides the colonoscopy operator with a detailed view of the colon lining. Polyps, which are the precursors of colon cancer, can be removed by the colonoscope in many cases. This eliminates the need for more invasive colorectal surgery. Complete cleansing of the colon is necessary before colonoscopy and intravenous conscious sedation is used to ensure the patient is comfortable.
In most cases, rectal bleeding is benign, but it is a serious sign of trouble in some cases, making rapid diagnosis necessary in order to rule out more serious causes. The colorectal specialist might recommend a colon examination by colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, or may recommend immediate treatment if the issue seems to be bleeding hemorrhoids.
Anal pain is also often benign in most patients. Some common causes of anal pain include severe anal dermatitis, fissure-in-ano, hemorrhoid problems, and abscesses (infections). The diagnosis of anal pain can usually be determined right away.
Hemorrhoids may cause anal pain, protrusions and bleeding. Patients who have hemorrhoids taht are bleeding and/or protruding, the Pezim Clinic offers a type of hemorrhoid treatment called infrared photocoagulation. If a patient has very painful or large hemorrhoids, an excision of the hemorrhoid called a "hemorrhoidectomy" may be the best option to remedy the situation. The Pezim Clinic can provide rapid hemorrhoidectomy for patients in many cases.
A fissure-in-ano is a tear in the lining of the anal canal that causes pain. Dietary changes often lead to healing and improvement in the long term. However if the pain is disabling and severe, certain treatments such as a sphincterotomy (a small operation performed under local anaesthetic), special ointment, or Botox™ injections into the anal area may help.
An abscess in the anal area can cause severe pain, swelling, redness, and drainage. The initial treatment of an anal absess involves drainage and in some cases antibiotics, which can usually be done immediately at the Pezim Clinic.
A fistula is a tract or tunnel that leads from the inside of the anus out to the skin, and the opening of drains fluid. Fistulas are usually the result of an earlier abscess. Sometimes they will resolve with antibiotics but they often require surgery, which can be done at the Pezim Clinic under local anaesthetic.
Colorectal cancer screening programs
People have a one in 16 chance of developing colorectal cancer in their lifetime, and colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US and Canada. Colorectal cancer strikes women and men in equal proportions, and for those who have a family history of the disease, the risk can increase. However, colorectal cancer has a high survival rate if it is detected early on.
By the time colorectal cancer symptoms appear, the cancer can be well established. In many cases, the cancer may have already spread to other body parts. To maximize the chances of a successful treatment and cure, rectal and colon cancer has to be identified early, before the symptoms occur. Colorectal screening is the process of looking for cancer or the precursors of cancer before symptoms occur. Colorectal cancer screening is important as the precursors of this disease (called “polyps”) usually exists in a lengthy, symptom-free phase. During this time, they can easily be detected and eliminated before they cause any danger. Many patients feel that colorectal cancer screening is a nuisance, but it could save your life.
The Pezim Clinic offers colorectal cancer screening programs for both patients with a normal risk of colorectal cancer, and for those with an increased risk. Patients are also entered into the online, password Pezim Clinic Colonoscopy Registry for easy online access to colonoscopy results/ This allows patients to get the most accurate information in a timely manner.