Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: March, 2019

By DIGESTIVE AND LIVER CENTER OF FLORIDA
March 27, 2019
Tags: Endoscopy   Polyps   Ulcers   Tumor   Crohn's Disease  

Stomach PainColon cancer affects thousands of Americans each year, with more than 95,000 people being diagnosed with the condition in 2016 alone, according to the American Cancer Society. One of the best ways to detect colon cancer is by visiting your Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL, gastroenterologist for a video capsule endoscopy.

More About an Endoscopy

An endoscopy is a procedure in which your gastroenterologist will use an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with an attached lens and light source) to view the images of your digestive system on a video monitor. Your doctor then examines these images to examine if there are potential tumors, sources of bleeding, or pain.

It's a painless and non-invasive procedure that helps people detect early stages of cancer. It is recommended for adults ages 50 to 75, according to the CDC.

What does an endoscopy detect?

  • Polyps
  • Ulcers
  • Tumors in the small intestine
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)

Colon Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms aren't always obvious. Here are the signs you need to keep an eye out for according to the doctors in Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL:

  • Bowel Habit Changes: If you are suffering from constipation or diarrhea for more than four weeks, that may be a sign of cancer
  • Fatigue: Colon cancer results in patients feeling weak and fatigued
  • Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss
  • Incomplete Evacuation: If you are experiencing constant bowel movements, even if you've just had a bowel movement, then you need to contact your doctor
  • Blood in Your Stool: Hemorrhoids are usually accompanied by blood in stool, but blood may also be a sign of a more serious condition like cancer

How to schedule an appointment

If you would like more information on endoscopies and how they can help you, don't hesitate to contact the doctors at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida. If you need an endoscopy, contact your Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL, gastroenterologist today!


We have a public service announcement! From March 25-31, we will begin celebrating the level of faithful service our team of Physicians have provided to our patients here in Central Florida. It takes the right medical professional to cater to the needs of each and every patient. At Digestive and Liver Center of Florida, we take this value seriously by making it a commitment every year.  We are proud of the quality care that is provided by our physicians at this practice. In two weeks, we will be mentioning them on all of our Social media channels to show how honored we are to help them provide compassionate, caring, and sophisticated care. One patient at a time! We would like to take a moment to highlight some facts that truly show the communities of Central florida how special and dedicated they all are in the art of medicine:

Dr. Seela moved over to metro Orlando after finishing a prestigious fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Seela has a Board certification on Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), and Crohn's Colitis Foundation (CCF). He is also a teaches, as an attending physician at both the Florida Hospital Internal Medicine Residency and Family Practice Residence (MD and DO) programs.


Dr. Harinath Sheela moved into the city of Orlando, after he completed his fellowship in Gastroenterology at the Yale University School of Medicine. The program he underwent is known across the country as a program of high prestige! During this time in his journey, he vested a great amount of time in basic and clinical research. Furthermore, he has published various articles on Gastroenterology literature. His interests include health conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Metabolic and other liver disorders. Dr. Sheela is a Board Certified Gastroenterologist, in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He is also a member of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), and Crohn's Colitis Foundation (CCF).


Dr. Ramesh developed his expertise for medicine at the Medical College of Virginia. Their known globally for their Gastroenterology and Hepatology Programs! He particularly enjoys Advanced and Therapeutic Endoscopy including ERCP and Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS), as well as various Liver Diseases. Dr. Ramesh received advanced training in ERCP and Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS). in ERCP and Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS). He also is Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He is an active member of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), and Crohn's Colitis Foundation (CCF).


"Dr. Atiq" Basher Atiquzzaman, MD, brings a high level of medical experience when treating diseases that affect the stomach, colon, intestines, liver, pancreas, and esophagus. He follows in the footsteps of his ancestors who also served in the medical field. This ignited a passion to pursue a career to show how much he appreciates the art of medicine...firsthand. One manner in which he diagnoses and treats his patients, is by using a tiny camera to complete a respective procedure. Moreover, he has the added skill of knowing Photography, which enables him to perform better in Gastroenterology. Overall, Dr. Atiq has over 20 years of clinical experience, and we are thankful to have him in our team. 


Dr. Jessica is a Board-Certified doctor in the field of Gastroenterology. She received her medical degree in 2003 from Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico. Once she had completed her residency of Internal medicine at the VA Carribean Healthcare System, she garnered another year of experience as a training program leader to become a Chief Resident. Her fellowship was then acquired at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and affiliated hospitals. Moreover, her interests in the field is broad in that it includes conditions like Abdominal pain, Anemias, Liver Diseases, GERD, Hepatitis C, Gastrointestinal bleeding, and many others. In addition, she is also involved in several organizations as an active member: AMA (American Medical Association), American College of Gastroenterology, AGA (American Gastroenterology Association), and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. She is bi-lingual, with fluency in both the English and Spanish language. We are glad to have her in our team! 


Dr. Sergio Larach faithfully serves as one of our Board-certified Colorectal Surgeons. He has been chosen as a "Top Doctor in Orlando" by the Orlando Magazine for several years! He finished his fellowship from the University of Texas Medical School. He is well experienced in an array of colorectal disorders that include Inflammatory Bowel disease, Colon and Rectal cancer, among other ano-rectal diseases. Furthermore, he is a recognized Pioneer performing Laparoscopic surgical procedures. He also developed a TAMIS procedure as an innovation in the treatment of rectal tumors. Within Central Florida, he is adequately involved as the Program Director of Orlando Regional and Florida Hospital's Colon and Rectal Fellowship program! In addition, he teaches in UCF and FSU as their Clinical associate Professor. His service in our practice really exemplifies what it means to put our patients first. Thank you!


Dr. Atallah is a Double Board-certified Colorectal Surgeon recognized all across the world for his medical expertise and ground-breaking presentations. Furthermore, he is the Director of Research and Clinical Trials. He decided to move to the city beautiful of Orlando in 2007, once he had completed his training at MD Anderson Cancer Center. This intensive regimen earned him a Double-Board certification in both General Surgery and Colorectal Surgery! After he finished his fellowship training in Colon and Rectal Surgery, it inspired him to perform the World's first TAMIS operation in Winter Park, FL in 2009. This opened the door to a new approach in how rectal cancers and Polyps could be treated at a medical facility. Moreover, he pioneered Robotic Transanal Surgery, known as the first to ever use this technique in the world of medicine. In addtion, he is one of the leaders in advanced technology for Rectal Cancer surgery. He also developed stereotactic navigation for transanal total mesorectal excision (taTME ). This marked the start of a vital step forward in the innovation of computer-assisted surgery. Overall, his prinicipal interest revolves around Colorectal Surgery, and is in the process of producing a textbook to be published this year by Springer Nature. Along with this pursuit, he also is heavily involved in the design and assessment of the next-generation robotic systems that will be more compact, and sleeker in its aesthetics to enhance the efficacy of its use in Colorectal Surgery. We are proud of his service in this team! Thank you for your dedicated work Dr. Atallah!


It is hard to believe, but March has arrived....This month marks the beginning of what is traditionally known across the nation as "Colon Cancer Awareness month." Do you or someone else have a concern in regards to Colon cancer? Do not worry as their are answers to help understand this disease. Colon cancer is essentially a cancer that emerges in the colon or rectum. It is sometimes called 'Colorectal cancer', depending on whether or not the cancer started in the colon or rectum. Cancer at a micro level is a process that occurs within the human body where a cell (s) start to grow abnormally. This can happen literally anywhere in the human body. Therefore, we must do our part as a society to stay informed with the latest information you can find here today. If you are a patient or non-patient, you may at some point ask yourself, "well, how does Colorectal Cancer begin?"  According to the American Cancer Society, "most cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum." These growths are clinically known as Polyps. Some of these Polyps can have a tendency to mutate into a Cancer, but it is NOT always the case. To further break this down, it really depends on whether the Polyps is categorized as either a Adenomatous or Hyperplastic Polyp. If a polyp is detected as Adenomatous, then the likelihood of it being cancer is much greater. A hyperplastic polyp, on the other hand, is more common than the first type and is Non-cancerous in nature. Colon cancer spreads by growing INTO the wall of the colon or rectum over time. If left untreated, an Adenomatous polyp can turn into a blood/lymph vessel, which can cause the pre-cancer to spread to other parts of the body. At that stage, it becomes more challenging for a Physican to successfully cure. Getting screened is a good preventative step if you happen to be unsure of your Colorectal health and/or if the disease runs in your family and you want to take an extra precaution to lower your risk. The best word of advice I can give is: STAY HEALTHY! You can significantly reduce your risk of acquiring this disease with some practical changes in your overall lifestyle. This includes, eating smart to optimize your physical and immunological health, maintaining a fitness regimen that fits your needs, and not smoking. With these tips in mind, it may help minimize the risk of being diagnosed with this cancer.

You deserve to live your best life!