While scheduling your colonoscopy is one of those dreaded tasks on the to-do list, it’s one of the most important. Colon cancer is very common, and it can affect anyone. The good news is, it is treatable when caught early!
What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure performed by a surgeon to examine the colon for any abnormalities. Colonoscopies are most commonly used for detecting colon cancer or pre-cancer signs. A colonoscopy can also be used as a diagnostic tool for patients experiencing abdominal pain or bleeding, chronic constipation, and/or diarrhea.
When Should I Have a Colonoscopy?
Burnett Medical Center recommends you speak with your doctor to determine when a colonoscopy is right for you. Some factors may require you to have a colonoscopy sooner in life. It is recommended you schedule a colonoscopy if:
- You’re over the age of 45
- You have a personal history or family history of colon cancer
- You are showing symptoms of colon cancer
- You have a personal history of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- You are overweight or lead a sedentary lifestyle
- It has been 10 years since your last normal screening
What Happens During a Colonoscopy Procedure?
Prior to your colonoscopy, you will be provided with medication through an IV that causes you to become drowsy and helps with relaxation. You will be asked to lie on your side as the procedure takes place. During your colonoscopy, your doctor will use a colonoscope to view the colon. A colonoscope is a long, tube-shaped instrument that is only about one quarter to one half inch in diameter with a scope on the end for producing an image of the inside of the colon for your doctor to examine. Biopsies or polyps may be obtained and if so your doctor will inform you of pathology results.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a colonoscopy take?
- The entire process typically only takes between 30 minutes to 1 hour.
How to prepare for a colonoscopy?
- BMC will provide you with pre-op instructions based on your individual needs. It is important to arrange for transportation after your procedure, as you will be given sedative medication and should not drive after your appointment.
Is a colonoscopy painful?
- An anesthetist provides sedation through the procedure and most people are not even aware anything was done.
How will I feel the day after my colonoscopy?
- After your procedure, you will be monitored and provided a snack and beverage before discharge. It is common to feel cramping, gassy and groggy after a colonoscopy, but it typically passes quickly. If you experience pain after your procedure, you should contact your doctor to discuss your individual circumstances.
When it comes to your health, tomorrow can’t wait. Call BMC at 715-463-5353 to schedule your colonoscopy today.