Constipation is defined as having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week. With constipation stools are usually hard, dry, small in size, and difficult to eliminate. Some people who are constipated find it painful to have a bowel movement and often experience straining, bloating, and the sensation of a full bowel.

Some people think they are constipated if they do not have a bowel movement every day. However, normal stool elimination may be three times a day or three times a week, depending on the person.

Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point in their life, and a poor diet typically is the cause. Most constipation is temporary and not serious.

Understanding its causes, prevention, and treatment will help most people find relief….


What are Colon Polyps?

A colon polyp is a growth on the surface of the colon, also called the large intestine. Sometimes, a person can have more than one colon polyp. Colon polyps can be raised or flat.

The large intestine is the long, hollow tube at the end of your digestive tract. The large intestine absorbs water from stool and changes it from a liquid to a solid. Stool is the waste that passes through the rectum and anus as a bowel movement...


What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is loose, watery stools. Having diarrhea means passing loose stools three or more times a day. Acute diarrhea is a com­mon problem that usually lasts 1 or 2 days and goes away on its own.Diarrhea lasting more than 2 days may be a sign of a more serious problem. Chronic diarrhea—diarrhea that lasts at least 4 weeks—may be a symptom of a chronic disease. Chronic diarrhea symptoms may be continual or they may come and go...


What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are small, pebble-like substances that develop in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped sac located below your liver in the right upper abdomen. Gallstones form when liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. The liquid—called bile—helps the body digest fats. Bile is made in the liver, then stored in the gallbladder until the body needs it. The gallbladder contracts and pushes the bile into a tube—called the common bile duct—that carries it to the small intestine, where it helps with digestion.


What are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine leading to the anus. The anus is the opening at the end of the digestive tract where bowel contents leave the body.


Rectal bleeding is a very common problem affecting people. Any type or quantity of blood that one notices coming from the rectal area is considered rectal bleeding, whether it is or is not associated with a bowel movement. The most common cause for rectal bleeding is hemorrhoids, which can either occur around the anus (external hemorrhoids) or inside the rectum just above the anus (internal hemorrhoids). Another cause of rectal bleeding is an anal fissure, which is a tear in the skin lining the anus. Typically, bleeding from this is associated with pain particularly during defecation.

While hemorrhoids and anal fissures are common and benign causes of rectal bleeding, it is important for one not to presume his or her rectal bleeding is due to these conditions. Tumors, polyps, or diverticuli in the rectum or colon can cause rectal bleeding. Inflammation of the rectum (proctitis) or colon(colitis) are other causes. Whenever one sees blood arising from the rectal area, one should consult with his or her physician. The physician may recommend further testing such a flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy to identify the cause of the rectal bleeding.


Barrett’s esophagus is a condition where part of the lining of the esophagus undergoes a change from one cell type (squamous cell) to another (columnar cell). This change is a result of chronic injury to the esophagus from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients with Barrett’s esophagus have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. The progression to esophageal cancer typically occurs by some cells in the barrett’s segment becoming more abnormal and atypical, which is called “dysplasia” in medical terms. Patients with this condition usually have their esophagus surveyed every few years to see if they are developing any signs of dysplasia.

Traditionally, the only way to remove the dysplasia before it turned into cancer was by surgery, where the patient would have either a part or the whole esophagus removed. Now Monmouth Gastroenterology is pleased to offer a new technique where both the dysplasia and the barrett’s esophagus can be treated without the need for surgery.

The technique is radiofrequency ablation. Through using a device either mounted on a balloon or the tip of the endoscope, heat energy is applied to the barrett’s segment. The procedure is done in the setting of an outpatient upper endoscopy, usually taking between 30 to 60 minutes. More than one treatment may be required to eradicate the dysplasia and barrett’s tissue. Complications from this procedure include mucosal laceration, esophageal perforation, infection, bleeding, and stricture formation. The overall complication rate is well under 1%.