As we head into the fall and winter months, now is an ideal reminder to take stock of the state of your health and your wellness goals for 2023. One way to help make sure you stay on top of your goals might be to schedule your regular colorectal health screening with an expert GI specialist.
Although other testing methods are available, in the world of colon cancer screening, colonoscopy remains one of the most efficient and reliable of all screenings available. The specialists at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates regularly conduct colonoscopy screenings to help patients identify indicators of colorectal cancer early on and to provide care for any concerns concerning the colon. Keep reading to hear more related to colonoscopies with our New Orleans, LA gastroenterology doctors.
Why is colonoscopy the preferred screening when checking for colon cancer?
Not only does it assist in helping evaluate for markers of colorectal cancer, having a colonoscopy also allows your GI specialist to ascertain the general health of your colon and also take out any polyps discovered in the course of the exam.
Colonoscopy may be recommended for individuals who are at least 45 years of age or for those who:
- Are from specific ethnicities (African Americans are at a higher risk of getting colon cancer than people of other groups, though no ethnicity is immune.)
- Have a history of bowel cancer in their family
- Consume a diet that is low in fiber but high in calories and fat
- Have specific inflammatory bowel diseases (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) that have been known to increase the chance of developing colorectal cancer
It’s imperative to consult with a digestive health specialist to understand your risk regarding cancer and when to schedule a colonoscopy.
When is the optimal time for me to go in for a colonoscopy?
In the big scheme of things, there is no “right” or “wrong” time to be proactive regarding the care of your health. However, deductibles are due to reset for the majority of health insurance plans, on Jan. 1, so if you have already met your plan’s deductible, now might be the optimal time to get in a colonoscopy in New Orleans, LA and to take advantage of your deductible having already been met. If you’re enrolled in a plan that has a flexible savings account (FSA), the end of the year is your last opportunity to use up any money that won’t carry over into the next year.
Additionally, performing any needed health screenings now will set you up to enter into the new year with the knowledge that you’re prioritizing your health needs.
How does a colonoscopy screening work?
Colonoscopies are a frequently performed exam that takes place in a private room at your doctor’s practice location or a local endoscopy center. Upon your arrival at the exam site, preparations will be made, and you will be asked to lie on your side, and a member of our team will administer intravenous (IV) sedation in measured and controlled amounts to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the procedure. After sedation is administered, your Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates gastroenterology doctor will start the colonoscopy exam by carefully inserting a scope via your rectum and up through the colon, ascertaining your bowel health by way of the camera affixed inside the end of the scope. Depending on the results of the colorectal screening, the test usually takes about 15 – 30 minutes.
Reserve a time for your colonoscopy in New Orleans, LA
Colorectal cancer is the cause of over 50,000 deaths annually in the United States alone, but the odds of survival increase exponentially if the cancer is recognized and treated in the early stage of its development. This is the reason it’s imperative to enlist the help of an expert colonoscopy doctor who can recognize the warning signs of cancer and work with you if additional treatments are called for. With the knowledge and resources of our physician-led group of gastrointestinal providers available, the providers at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates are here to assist you in ringing in a new year in which caring proactively for your health is a top priority. For additional information regarding colon cancer screenings or to visit with a provider specializing in colonoscopies in New Orleans, LA, please reach out to our GI office today.