The medical community considers colonoscopy the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening. It detects early-stage cancers and allows your doctor to remove precancerous lesions called polyps that can lead to the disease. Colonoscopies don’t prevent colorectal cancer as well as previously thought.
How Often Should I Get a Colonoscopy?
In general, people who are at average risk of colon cancer should get screened every ten years. If a person has a history of many big or high-risk adenomas or colorectal cancer runs in their family, they could require screening sooner. Other risk factors include Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Colonoscopy uses a special scope to look inside your bowel. It bends so that the doctor can move it around the curves of your colon and blows air into your bowel to expand it. The procedure is safe and usually painless. Soon after, you ought to be able to resume your regular activities. You might experience gas or bloating as your colon clears its air for a few hours following the exam. Walking around can help you relieve that discomfort. A tiny quantity of blood in your first bowel movement following the checkup is also not unusual. It is common after a biopsy or polyp removal but is not cause for concern.
What Should I Expect During a Colonoscopy?
You should expect to be sedated and not feel any pain while a doctor inserts the colonoscope into your rectum, reaches the opening of your colon and examines it. Gastroenterology Of The Rockies colonoscopy Denver will place a camera on the end of a long, flexible tube and insert it into the center of your intestines to examine them for polyps. A colonoscopy can also identify and remove early signs of colorectal cancer. It is the best way to detect this disease in its early stages. If your provider finds any suspicious growths during the exam, they may remove them and send them to a lab for further testing. They will give you a formal report by mail or electronically and tell you what they found, how the tests went and whether the results indicate a problem. It would help if you had no bowel movements for about a day after your colonoscopy, but you can walk around or shower. If you have light bleeding in your first bowel movement, or if it lasts more than a day, contact your doctor immediately.
What Can I Do to Prepare For a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies are an exam that many people dread, but they can prevent colorectal cancer and other health problems. They also help detect and remove polyps, small growths that can develop into colon cancer. The exam uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope inserted into your anus through your rectum and your large intestine (the colon). A camera on the end of the scope sends images to a monitor so your doctor can see your bowel. You’ll need to do a series of bowel preparations in the days before your colonoscopy. These involve a clear liquid diet and laxatives to clean out your colon. You’ll need to drink lots of clear fluids, like sports drinks, apple juice, and clear broth. You can also have coffee and tea but must avoid cream or milk. It’s also important to avoid foods with red or purple dyes because those colors can make it harder for your doctor to see your lining.
What Should I Expect After a Colonoscopy?
The long, flexible tube with a camera on one end will be inserted into the rectum, which links your colon (large intestine). It will steer it up the colon and look for cancer or abnormal growth signs. The doctor will remove any polyps if they are found and send them to a lab for testing. Additionally, they might perform a biopsy, removing some tissue to examine it under a microscope. They will give you a formal report by mail or electronically. They will also explain what they found and any procedures they performed.
Your doctor usually prescribes a special diet and laxatives to prepare your body for the procedure. It is a good way to make sure the doctor has a clear view of your colon before they begin the exam. You may experience mild bloating or cramping during the first hour after the procedure. Usually, these symptoms disappear within a day. You might also have a bit of blood in your first bowel movement after the process, but this is normal and not cause for concern.