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Your Complete Guide to a Colonoscopy

Your Complete Guide to a Colonoscopy

 

Overview


Colonoscopy is the most widespread colon cancer screening procedure in existence.

It has been shown to detect early-stage adenomas and colorectal cancers at a curable stage.

Approximately 50% of colorectal tumors are located in the distal colon and colonoscopy has also been shown to be effective at detecting these lesions too.

Despite this, many patients believe that this test is more risky than it actually is due to concerns about bowel preparation and the general unpleasantness.

Let’s get more in depth about the Colonoscopy procedure and when to consider getting it done.

 

What is a Colonoscopy?

 

A Colonoscopy is used to look inside the colon to find any potential problems that may be hiding.

This is done by inserting the end of a long, flexible tube called a Colonoscope into the Rectum.

The tip of the Colonoscope has a mini light and camera on the end. Once the end of the Colonoscope has been inserted, the doctor can slowly push it through the Rectum and into the colon, while taking pictures of any abnormalities.

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you should make an appointment with your GP:

  • Stomach pains
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting

colonoscopy procedure scaled - Your Complete Guide to a Colonoscopy

 

When to Get a Colonoscopy

Colonoscopies are often recommended to people over the age of 50 in order to screen for possible colon cancer in the early stages.

If your family history includes colon cancer, doctors may recommend that you start having a colonoscopy at an earlier age.

If you have symptoms that could be caused by colon cancer, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to diagnose the problem.

If you are at risk for colon cancer, make sure to talk to your doctor about when you should start getting a colonoscopy.

 

A colonoscopy is performed to detect:

You may also need a colonoscopy if you experience these symptoms:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Changes in bowel habits or appearance in stool
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Chronic abdominal pain

colon polyp removal - Your Complete Guide to a Colonoscopy

 

Don’t Wait Until You Suffer from Polyps

 

The colon is the last part of your digestive tract.

Polyps are small fleshy growths that can form in the colon. They are often harmless, but if they grow large enough, they can block the passage of stool.

This can lead to an infection known as colitis, or colon cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in adults.

Therefore, it’s important to get screened regularly. The best way to get screened for polyps is to take a colonoscopy.

The procedure is done under sedation and takes only about 15 minutes. The doctor will examine the entire length of your colon to find any polyps. There are many reasons why you should not wait until you’re suffering from polyps.

 

How a Colonoscopy Works

 

The process can be uncomfortable, but your doctor is there to help ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible the entire time.

They will give you a sedative that will make you drowsy and then you will be given a bowel cleansing solution to take the night before the exam to empty your bowels.

The idea behind a colonoscopy is to find and remove any polyps, which can be precancerous and even cancerous.

Polyps can grow inside the colon, and they can cause many problems, such as intense abdominal pains and bleeding.

 

Before your Colonoscopy: Things to Do and Consider Before Your Colonoscopy

 

In preparation for a colonoscopy, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.

– Schedule your colonoscopy appointment as far in advance as possible.

– Consider if you should take a stool softener and/or laxative before your procedure.

– If needed, begin a low fiber diet before your colonoscopy.

– Avoid eating solid foods the day before and shortly after your colonoscopy.

– Order and collect your medications the night before the procedure.

– Pack your medications, snacks, and water bottles to take with you to the hospital.

– Pack a change of clothes and toiletries, as well as a book or magazine, for your recovery time.

colon polyps colonoscopy - Your Complete Guide to a Colonoscopy

What to Expect During a Colonoscopy

 

A Colonoscopy is an examination of the entire colon, the rectum, and the anus, used to screen for colorectal cancer or other colorectal abnormalities.

A colonoscopy is typically done without sedation. It can be done on your hands and knees (called flexed knee), sitting, or standing.

A Colonoscopy is done in the doctor’s office or hospital. You will either be given anesthesia or pain medication before the procedure. A doctor will use various tools to guide the colonoscope through your large intestine and take images of your colon, rectum, and anus.

 

During Your Colonoscopy: What to Expect During Your Colonoscopy

 

The examination is conducted on the inside of the large intestine (colon) and examines any polyps that may be present.

A colonoscopy is a procedure in which the doctor inserts a tube-like instrument into your colon, also known as large intestine or large bowel, to examine the lining of the colon.

It is a non-invasive procedure, and no anesthesia is required for this test.

If a polyp is spotted during this procedure, it can be biopsied and removed through the same small incision made by the insertion of the endoscope.

A polyp is an abnormal growth inside of the colon that doctors suspect may turn into cancer if it remains untreated. Food or stool particles are expelled as soon as examination using a suction tube attached to the endoscope has been concluded.

The patient will be able to go home soon after treatment.

 

After a Colonoscopy: Things to Consider After Your Colonoscopy

 

Many people feel that a colonoscopy is an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience.

It can be both, but with preparation and aftercare, this process can be done without too much discomfort. There are many things to be concerned with after your colonoscopy, and we will discuss them here.

  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise.
    It is important to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for at least 48 hours after your procedure. This will help to reduce the risk of bleeding and discomfort in the abdomen.
  • Do not eat solid food the day of your colonoscopy.

After a colonoscopy, a doctor will likely recommend the following:

  • Water
  • Drinks with electrolytes
  • Vegetable or fruit juices
  • Crackers
  • Herbal tea
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Scrambled eggs

Risks and Benefits of a Colonoscopy

 

The colonoscopy procedure is safe and effective. But it can sometimes cause bleeding, inflammation or infection in pouches in the colon called diverticulum.

The main advantage of getting a colonoscopy is that it helps identify early signs of cancer and allows your physician to remove polyps before they can become invasive.

According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer in men and women.

 Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of WHAT IS A - Your Complete Guide to a Colonoscopy

Contact an Expert

If you are concerned about abdominal pain and wish to schedule a colonoscopy –  talk to us today.

Call your gastroenterologist for advice if any unexpected symptoms occur, including:

  • Persistent nausea
  • Persistent but minor bleeding
  • Ongoing bloating and abdominal discomfort

We recommend going directly to the emergency room if the patient experiences any of the following:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding from the anus (rectum)
  • Vomiting

Dr. Schneider is here to provide you with expert medical advice in the field of gastroenterology.

Book an appointment online or contact us on 011 482-3010 to find out more.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

What Is Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and More

What Is Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and More

Overview

Colorectal cancer is a deadly disease that is one of the most common cancers in the United States.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women. This cancer type is often diagnosed in the later stages when it has become resistant to treatment.

The five-year survival rates are higher when colorectal cancer is detected early. That’s why a complete understanding of this disease, its symptoms, and diagnostic methods can be so crucial for prevention.

Colorectal cancer is typically marked by the growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the colon or rectum. These cells can multiply and eventually destroy healthy tissue as they grow or may even spread to other parts of the body.

The symptoms of colorectal cancer may also include blood in stool, diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits.

Treatment for colorectal cancer will depend on the type and severity and can include chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Prevention methods include screening methods such as colonoscopy and fecal occult blood test.

In this article, we explore the basics of colorectal cancer and how to diagnose this disease through a testing process.

colorectal cancer polyps - What Is Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and More

Colorectal Cancer Explained

Colorectal Cancer is the term used to describe cancer that has started in the colon, which is an area of your large intestine, or in the rectum, which is the lower end of your large intestine.

Colorectal cancer generally begins as an abnormal growth of cells called polyps. This is referred to as adenoma (which means “adenoid cystic tumors”). If left untreated, adenomas can develop into cancerous tumors.

It’s estimated that 1 in every 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Approximately 10 percent of cases occur in those under the age of 50.

The presentation of colorectal cancer can be quite variable, and most cases are not detected until either symptoms appear or signs are seen on a routine endoscopic screening test (colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy).

Depending on the stage of cancer, symptoms can include cramping, rectal bleeding, changes to bowel habit or weight loss.

When caught early there can be successful treatment but it is important to seek advice from your doctor if you have any concerns about your health.

Most colorectal cancers start as adenomas, and these tend to occur on the outer and inner aspects of the lower part of colon known as sigmoid colon.

A tumor can also start inside one any part of the colon or rectum, but this is not very common.

There are several types of colon cancer, let’s look at the breakdown on them below:

Classical (end stage) colon cancer

This type is the most common type of colon cancer and is also the deadliest. The spread of colon cancer to other parts of the body is called metastasis.

Malignant (new) Colon Cancer

It is a tumor that grows inside the colon and rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, it is the second most common form of cancer in the United States.

 

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

People with colorectal cancer can have a wide range of symptoms.

A specific symptom of colorectal cancer, however, is a persistent change in the size, shape, or other characteristics of the bowel.

You should talk to your doctor about changes in bowel habits that last for two weeks or longer.

Most common symptom of colorectal cancer are as follows:

  • Persistent change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

These are the most common symptoms.
Other symptoms may include pain in the rectum or in the anal region.

colorectal cancer explained - What Is Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and More

How is Colorectal Cancer diagnosed?

Colorectal cancer can be hard to diagnose, because the symptoms have overlapping features with other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

The important thing is to not be afraid of having your symptoms checked out.

Many people think it is normal to have lower back pain or severe cramping but, if you experience these symptoms in excess then see a doctor and do not ignore them.

Tests used for diagnosis of colorectal cancer include:

Colonoscopy:
The first thing to do is to have a colonoscopy, which is a procedure where the doctor examines the rectum and colon to view them on camera.

Ultrasound:
This is the most common test, as it is affordable and non-invasive.
It allows for early diagnosis.

Sigmoidoscopy:
A thin, flexible tube (oscopy) is inserted into the rectum. It is inserted through the anus and stretched. Inside the tube, the doctor will look at the inside of the rectum and colon.

 

colorectal cancer colonoscopy - What Is Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and More

Treatment Options for Colorectal Cancer

There are several treatment options for colon cancer, but surgical options are preferred to other treatments as they are the most effective in reducing cancer cells.

One type of surgery is called S-T Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan, which allows doctors to identify where the tumor is located.

However, the treatment has very limited success.

One of the leading surgical options for colon cancer is the Transseptal Surgery, which aims to remove the tumor but doctors know that this procedure will never cure colon cancer.

 

Survival Rate

The general survival rate for stage 4 colon cancer is 25 percent.
In addition, only 5 percent of people with stage 4 colon cancer survive for 10 years or more.

colorectal cancer risks - What Is Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and More

Risk Factors

Cancer is a general term for abnormal cellular growth inside or on the body and there are many forms of the disease.

Colorectal cancer treatments vary depending on a number of factors and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and combinations of these treatments.

Oncologists used to believe that colorectal cancers were caused by hereditary gene mutations but are now attributing them to environmental factors such as diet, heredity and lifestyle choices instead.

If you want to reduce your colorectal cancer risk factors through lifestyle changes then start by eating lots of fruits and vegetables (eat as many different colour types as possible) because they help provide antioxidants that kill damaging free radicals in the gut and promote natural cell regeneration.

You also need to exercise regularly because if you don’t keep fit with regular aerobic exercise then it can increase your chances of gaining weight which can create an environment within your colon conducive to developing cancerous cells.

Factors that may increase your risk of colon cancer include:

  • Age
    A majority of people with colon cancer are 50 or older. However, colon cancer can be diagnosed at any age.
  • Personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer
    If you had colon cancer or polyps, your changes are higher at colon cancer in future.
  • Inflammatory Intestinal Conditions
    Chronic colon diseases like Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.

colorectal cancer infographic - What Is Colorectal Cancer? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and More


When to Seek Medical Care

Call your gastroenterologist for advice if any unexpected symptoms occur, including:

  • Blood in stool
  • Rectal Bleeding with or without pain
  • Increased diarrhea or constipation
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Severe Abdominal Pain
  • Drastic changes in bowel pattern
  • Persistent but minor bleeding
  • Ongoing bloating and abdominal discomfort

We recommend going directly to the emergency room if the patient experiences any of the following:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding from the anus (rectum)
  • Vomiting

Dr. Schneider is here to provide you with expert medical advice in the field of gastroenterology.

Book an appointment online or contact us  on 011 482-3010 to find out more. 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Getting To Know About a Colonoscopy, Or the Endoscopy of The Colon

Getting To Know About a Colonoscopy, Or the Endoscopy of The Colon

Overview

 

 A colonoscopy is a quick and painless procedure, usually around 30 minutes long, that allows for the full examination of the entire inner lining of a patient’s bowel (colon and rectum).

During the procedure, a gastroenterologist uses an instrument called the colonoscope to perform a colonoscopy.

It is a long, thin, flexible (the scope bends) fiberoptic camera that allows the specialist to visualize the entire colon.

With this thin instrument, the gastroenterologist spends most of the time looking for changes to the normal landscape of your bowel lining and removes anything that looks suspicious.

 

The Purpose of a Colonoscopy 

Colonoscopy (or colonoscopy of the colon), is the most important colon screening procedure available.

It is done to detect diseases, and to remove polyps that may be indicative of cancer, and the polyps that are no longer active (that is, the polyps that are no longer going to grow into cancer) at that time. 

A colonoscopy may be useful for detecting certain diseases that occur on the outer layer of the colon such as colon cancer, but more often, the colonoscopy is performed to remove non-cancerous growths in the colon.

These polyps are caused by various human germs that do not affect your health but can cause symptoms. 

A person does not need to have any symptoms to have the colonoscopy and you may perform the colonoscopy as an outpatient procedure.
  

colonoscopy explained - Getting To Know About a Colonoscopy, Or the Endoscopy of The Colon

What To Expect from A Colonoscopy
 

Like many common procedures, a colonoscopy is an easy one to put off or be scared of.
When preparing for a colonoscopy, it’s important to consume plenty of fluids and follow the diet recommendations of your doctor.

A liquid will be prescribed for bowel preparation that is similar to your stomach wash or laxative.

Being sedated while having your colonoscopy can cause you to develop side effects like a dry mouth, sedation, headache, fatigue and vomiting.

If you are sedated, you might have a difficult time telling you doctor about any pain you may be experiencing. The procedure is supposed to take about an hour, depending on the extent of the find, or another 30 minutes if it’s a small find.

The doctor may then need to send the images and your medical history to your doctor and get his or her opinion on the colonoscopy.  

why you should get a colonoscopy - Getting To Know About a Colonoscopy, Or the Endoscopy of The Colon


Who Should Get a Colonoscopy?
 

As you may already know, people over 50 are strongly advised to have a colonoscopy every 10 years.

Although most people usually get colonoscopies done under general anesthesia, there are some other options for procedures that may improve your colonoscopy experience.

For example, if you are not comfortable with having general anesthesia or having to lay completely still for a long time, some people prefer the Capsule Endoscopy.

However, most people aren’t aware that even younger adults may have some abnormalities in their colon, because many other conditions can cause changes in the colon lining, such as:

Ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation on the inner wall or lining of the colon and rectum.

Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s Disease or Crohn syndrome, is a type of inflammatory bowel disease marked by patchy areas in various sections of your gastrointestinal tract that cause ulcerations and pain.

Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere along this pathway, but it most commonly manifests itself as inflammation of the small intestines (ileum) and can lead to impaired digestion, unintended weight loss and serious complications like blockage of the intestinal tract (strictures) or fistulas.

Recurring rectal bleeding
Rectal bleeding has many causes and can occur as the result of a weaker or abnormal area along your digestive tract.
Haemorrhoids are the most common cause of rectal bleeding.
While these and other causes of rectal bleeding may be minor inconveniences, rectal bleeding can be a real concern if you’re losing a lot of blood.

Rectal cancer
Rectal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs on the lining of the rectum. This form of cancer is called adenocarcinoma which means it develops in gland cells. These cancers are not specific to this region but can be found multiple regions of the tract if they spread.

capsule endoscopy - Getting To Know About a Colonoscopy, Or the Endoscopy of The Colon


When Should You Get a Colonoscopy?

It is recommended to start colonoscopy screening for adults over 50 years old, and especially those who have been told that they have polyps or other changes in the way their bowel is lined.

As this is the stage when your chances of developing colorectal cancer are highest, it is always a good idea to schedule a colonoscopy for your screening at this age.

In most cases, the most rapid way to identify colon cancer in a young patient is to perform a colonoscopy. The sooner we diagnose it and remove it, the better your chance of living a normal and disease-free life.

The success rate of colonoscopy screening of the colon is 98 percent. But let’s talk about colon polyps. What is a polyp? 

Polyps Explained

The most common symptom of colon polyps in the large intestine is bleeding in the stools.
The definition of a polyp is any abnormal growth of tissue that projects into a lumen. 

A colon polyp is essentially an overgrowth of tissue in the large intestine. Colon polyps are commonly caused by irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. 

If you suspect you have a colon polyp, it’s best to see your doctor immediately.

However, even if there are no symptom with visible signs, your doctor can still notice the condition during routine examinations.
 

cancerous polyps - Getting To Know About a Colonoscopy, Or the Endoscopy of The Colon

Cancerous Polyps Explained

 When a patient has cancerous polyps, the doctor will extract them from the body during a procedure.

They may be called polyps or adenomas where you have lined up multiple protrusions from the colon wall.

The doctor takes a biopsy of the tissues to confirm a diagnosis which leaves a hole where they were removed and can heal quickly by itself.

This usually happens when you have had the same polyp removals over time and these holes don’t heal as easily as before, then it is likely that there might be cancerous cells present which means it’s time for another procedure to remove them entirely instead of just removing the tumors again.
 

When to Seek Medical Care for Colonoscopy Complications

 

Call your gastroenterologist for advice if any unexpected symptoms occur, including:

  • Persistent nausea
  • Persistent but minor bleeding
  • Ongoing bloating and abdominal discomfort

We recommend going directly to the emergency room if the patient experiences any of the following: 

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding from the anus (rectum)
  • Vomiting

Dr. Schneider is here to provide you with expert medical advice in the field of gastroenterology.

Book an appointment online or contact us  on 011 482-3010 to find out more.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

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© Dr. H Schneider, Registered Gastroenterologist, GI Doc Johannesburg

Our website information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

When You Would Need a Routine Colonoscopy

When You Would Need a Routine Colonoscopy

At GIDOCJHB, we treat patients with a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions, and we use the latest medical advances in the industry.

We help you understand the basics of how a colonoscopy is performed, how to better prepare both the night before and on the day, and how to interpret results.

Colonoscopies can help save lives, and with colon cancer diagnosis under the age of 50 on the rise, it’s important to get your screenings done through an experienced gastroenterologist.

We understand that a colonoscopy can be uncomfortable at times (the truth is that colonoscopies are not nearly as bad as you probably think), but it can be a crucial procedure at detecting colon cancer at its early stages.

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, we are also taking relevant measures to keep our patients, staff, and facilities safe so we can still provide you with important screening procedures.

 routine colonoscopy procedure - When You Would Need a Routine Colonoscopy

Why Colonoscopies Are Performed

A colonoscopy is a life-saving procedure performed by a gastroenterologist to screen for colon abnormalities inside your large bowel (also known as the colon) that may or may not be cancer.

It involves inserting a thin, flexible tube that has a small video camera attached, with makes it possible for a gastroenterologist to examine the entire colon and also take biopsies (small pieces of tissue) for further examination.

Colonoscopies detect cancers while they’re still in the early treatable stages, and can also be used to check the colon after cancer treatment.

 

You Should have a Colonoscopy if:

  • If you are 45 years of age with a family history of colon cancer. 50 years of age if you don’t have a family history
  • If you have a family history such as a parent or sibling that has or had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, it’s recommended to book a consultation with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible to determine if your colonoscopy should be scheduled sooner.
  • If you are having symptoms of colorectal cancer such as rectal bleeding, dark-colored stools, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain and cramps, and unexpected weight loss, it’s recommended to speak with your gastroenterologist about your condition.
  • If you would like to look at the general condition of your colon to see if there’s any swollen tissue, ulcers, tumors, inflammation, unexplained objects, and bleeding.
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis in the past.
  • If you’ve been exposed to radiation around your abdominal or pelvic area at any point in your life, to treat prior cancer for example.
  • If you’ve had surgery to remove part of your colon.

 colonoscopy checkup procedure - When You Would Need a Routine Colonoscopy

What if they Find Something?

Generally speaking, if you have been going for your recommended colonoscopy checkups and your gastroenterologist has found polyps, it will be in its early stages, which means a very high chance of effective treatment, especially in stage zero (not extended beyond the inner lining of the colon) and stage one (grown deeper into the layers of the colon wall, but have not spread beyond the wall or into the lymph nodes.)

 

Your Colonoscopy Schedule

It’s best to discuss your colonoscopy schedule with your gastroenterologist as specific cases will require specific care.

However, it’s recommended to get your first screening between the ages of 45-50.

Your screenings will stop once you reach the age of 75 if you are healthy, or 85 if abnormalities were previously found. It’s important to note that as you age, your risk of developing polyps and colon cancer increases.

Because colon cancer develops slowly, most people will not need to have a colonoscopy more than once every five years, but it’s still best to discuss your unique situation with your gastroenterologist.

  • If your screening colonoscopy showed a healthy, normal colon, you may not need another screening for 10 years.
  • If you had one or two low-risk polyps removed, you should have another colonoscopy in 5 to 10 year.

preparing for a colonoscopy - When You Would Need a Routine Colonoscopy

How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

It’s recommended to clear your calendar on the day of your colonoscopy and plan for a driver to take you back home as you will feel drowsy.

Your diet will play an important role in the days leading up to your procedure, but your gastroenterologist will advise you on foods to eat and foods to avoid.

More ways on how to better prepare for a colonoscopy

 

How a Colonoscopy Procedure Works

On the day of your procedure, you’ll be asked to change clothes either into a gown or something more light. and you’ll be given a sedative and/or anesthesia to make your feel more relaxed.

Once you feel a bit drowsy, you’ll be instructed to lay down sideways and bring your knees to your chest so the colonoscopy flexible tube can be easily inserted into your rectum.

A colonoscopy procedure usually takes around 30-45 minutes. Once your procedure is finished, you’ll still feel drowsy, which is why you should have someone drive you home.

It’s normal to experience small amounts of bleeding or bloating following your procedure, however, if your blood becomes heave or is accompanied by a fever, contact your gastroenterologist immediately.

 

What Should I Expect After a Colonoscopy?

Following your procedure, you’ll most likely stay at the hospital for about an hour for monitoring and be given instructions on how to care for yourself while at home.

You may also feel bloated and drowsy for a few hours, however, the sedatives should wear off soon thereafter.

Your recovery period is generally very fast, usually, by the next day you should feel much better and can continue your normal work routine and lifestyle activities.

Your gastroenterologist will share the results of your colonoscopy with you and discuss the next steps too.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors Prevention infographic 120x300 - When You Would Need a Routine Colonoscopy

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.