Yes, it’s true: A colonoscopy can help PREVENT colon cancer. It’s a relatively simple procedure, with lifesaving benefits, and if you’re over 45 or have risk factors (or a family history of colon cancer), schedule your colonoscopy now to ensure your colon stays healthy.
Not sure exactly what a colonoscopy entails? Here are the details:
1. What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a 30-minute medical procedure that allows a gastroenterologist to examine the inner lining of the colon and rectum. It involves using a long, flexible tube equipped with a camera, known as a colonoscope, to detect abnormalities, such as polyps or tumors.
2. Why is a Colonoscopy Essential?
Early detection is key in preventing colon cancer, one of the most common and preventable forms of cancer (check out Colon Cancer Facts here). A colonoscopy can identify precancerous polyps, so your gastroenterologist can remove them before they develop into cancer. The earlier precancerous polyps are detected, the greater reduction of the risk of disease progression.
3. When Should I Schedule a Colonoscopy?
The recommended age to start screening for colon cancer is 45 years old – regardless of if you have any symptoms or not. However, individuals with a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors may need to start screening earlier. Consult with your gastroenterologist to determine the most appropriate timing for your individual case.
4. How Should I Prepare for a Colonoscopy?
Preparation is a crucial aspect of the procedure. Your doctor will provide specific instructions for your colonoscopy prep, which often include dietary restrictions and a bowel-cleansing regimen for several days before your colonoscopy (the “cleaner” your gut is, the smoother the process will be). Following these guidelines is essential for a successful and thorough examination so we can see any abnormalities.
5. What Happens During a Colonoscopy?
During the colonoscopy, you will be given sedation to ensure your comfort. The gastroenterologist will gently insert the colonoscope through the rectum and navigate it through the colon. The camera allows for a real-time visual inspection of the colon’s lining, so your doctor can remove any polyps and take samples of any abnormal tissue.
6. Is a Colonoscopy Painful?
Most patients experience minimal discomfort during the procedure due to sedation, but not pain. Afterward, you might feel bloated or have mild cramping, but these effects generally subside quickly.
7. How Long Does a Colonoscopy Take?
Generally, you’ll be in our office for about two hours — from check-in to discharge home, including 30 minutes for the colonoscopy.
Schedule Your Colonoscopy Today
At Gastrointestinal Specialists, P.C., our staff of knowledgeable and experienced doctors work to maintain your comfort and answer all your questions before, during, and after your colonoscopy. Early detection is vital in preventing colon cancer, and we’re here for you in Troy, MI, to make it simple and convenient to schedule and undergo your colonoscopy. Schedule your appointment today!