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Chappells resident has polyps, found in a routine colonoscopy, removed by a specialty Endoscopic Full-Thickness Resection procedure

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Community reminded of importance of colonoscopy

In early 2020, Stacey Longshore was ready to take big steps for her personal health. In her fifties, on the advice of her family doctor, she scheduled a routine colonoscopy following her annual check-up. Stacey had also decided to pursue gastric bypass surgery to address her long-term challenge with achieving a healthy weight so she could be more active.

“Somehow, everything fell into place at the right time,” Stacey recalls. Her first colonoscopy revealed that she had two golf-ball sized polyps. Fortunately, these appeared benign, but the size was concerning as they would continue to grow. Her gastroenterologist and bariatric surgeon agreed that it would be ideal if the polyps could be removed surgically during Stacey’s scheduled gastric bypass procedure. This meant Stacey would undergo a colon resection during her gastric bypass surgery.

While the primary procedure went very smoothly, the surgeon was unable to visually locate the polyps for removal. “It was a little disappointing, but I appreciated their caution. I was able to take some time to heal and adjust to my diet changes following the gastric bypass.” She received a referral to Veeral Oza, MD, a Prisma Health gastroenterologist and an interventional endoscopist with expertise in a colonoscopy procedure called Endoscopic Full-Thickness Resection (EFTR).

Dr. Oza performed a colonoscopy and was able to successfully remove the large, golf ball size polyp. On the follow-up colonoscopy a few months later, he unfortunately found that Stacey had regrowth of precancerous tissue microscopically. Traditionally such patients would undergo a colon surgery, which would involve a colon removal. However, Oza determined Stacey was a good candidate for the EFTR procedure, which doesn’t require an open belly incision, minimizes potential complications and has a faster recovery time. “In Stacey’s case, the large polyps appeared benign but had concerning precancerous changes and we detected regrowth after removal. Surgically such areas can be removed, but the complication rate is higher in surgery than in EFTR. EFTR in the colon is a newer technique and is an excellent option for some patients,” said Oza.

“Dr. Oza explained his goal was to prevent my needing major colon surgery later.” Stacey said, “To be honest, other than the normal experience of having a colonoscopy, afterward, I could not even tell I’d had the [EFTR] procedure. There was no pain, and I felt very good after waking up and at home later.” She was scheduled for a follow-up colonoscopy in 6 months to ensure she was healing well.

Stacey’s recovery has been smooth, and she is excited to be seeing results from her bariatric procedure. She feels confident she’s on the right path toward improving her overall health and wellness. “My next 6-month recheck is early in 2021. I learned colon polyps can be genetic, so I’ve talked with my family about the importance of anyone over age 50 getting a colonoscopy.”

About Prisma Health

Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,947 beds and more than 300 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually. Its goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.

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