The Importance of Getting a Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a relatively safe procedure that allows doctors to see inside your rectum and colon. It can also detect and remove precancerous polyps that could eventually become cancerous.

Some people fear getting a colonoscopy because of the prep instructions (you must drink awful-tasting liquids for days). But it is essential to talk with your doctor and start screening at the recommended age, which for most people is 50.

Detect Polyps Early

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death, but a colonoscopy can prevent it by finding and removing precancerous polyps. People with hereditary syndromes may have hundreds of polyps in the colon and rectum, while those without such a history can have just a few.

A colonoscopy involves a brief procedure that is very safe. At the time of your test, you will be given medicine that makes you sleepy and takes away most of the pain. You will lie on your back, and the gastroenterologist will put a long flexible colonoscope tube into your back passage, through the rectum, and into your large intestine. The end of the colonoscope has a camera that sends pictures to a monitor.

You must follow a bowel prep that starts the day before your procedure. You must drink a laxative at night and during the day to empty your bowels before your colonoscopy.

Detect Cancer Early

During a colonoscopy from a reputable clinic like Gastroenterology Of The Rockies, your doctor will insert a long flexible tube (colonoscope) with a light and camera on it into the back passage into the large intestine and rectum. This can cause crampy stomach pains, but they tend to pass quickly.

Your doctor will look for polyps or other abnormal tissue that could turn cancerous over time. They can remove these during the procedure if necessary.

The test also lets doctors see inflammation, ulcers, or narrowing of the bowel lining. They can also take tissue samples for biopsy to check for cancer, which must be sent to a lab for results.

Doctors recommend people between 45 and 75 get a colonoscopy, especially those with a family history of colorectal cancer. The “prep” process may make some hesitant, as it involves drinking a laxative the night before. However, new kits to clean the bowels before the exam are much easier to tolerate.

Detect Colorectal Cancer at an Early Stage

The most effective way to detect colon cancer is through a routine screening test called a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy lets your doctor look at the entire colon and rectum lining while you’re sedated.

A lighted, flexible colonoscope tube is inserted into your rectum through the anus. The box has a camera and light at the end that send images to a video monitor. Your doctor can also insert other instruments into the colonoscope to obtain a tissue sample or remove polyps for further examination.

You’ll start preparing for your colonoscopy by changing your diet several days before the procedure. You’ll eat a liquid diet and take a laxative solution to clean out your colon before the test.

The sedation used during the colonoscopy makes you sleepy and usually pain-free. Still, you may feel some gas pressure or pain when the colonoscope advances into your colon. It’s a small price to pay for such an important test.

Detect Colorectal Cancer at an Advanced Stage

A colonoscopy lets doctors see the inside of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. It also enables doctors to remove polyps (small growths) and take tissue samples for tests. This test helps doctors find and treat cancer or precancerous cells before they become colon cancer.

During a colonoscopy, you lie on your back, and the doctor puts a long flexible tube with a tiny video camera at the end of it (a colonoscope) into your back passage and up into your large bowel. The doctor uses particular medicines to make you sleepy and to minimize pain.

After the exam, your doctor will tell you if they found any problems. They may send the tissue samples to a laboratory for more testing. You will spend a few hours recovering from the anesthesia. It would help to have a friend or family member drive you home. Then, you can rest for the remainder of the day. You will probably feel cramps and bloating for several hours after the procedure. This is normal, but call your doctor if the discomfort disappears.

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