For the uninitiated, colonoscopy is the procedure or exam that’s done to detect abnormalities in the color and rectum. A long tube called colonoscope is used for the procedure, which is inserted in the rectum. The colonoscope has a camera at the tip, which allows the doctor to check the colon or large intestine. If colon cancer is suspected, your doctor may also suggest taking tissue samples during colonoscopy.
Possible need for Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is done to find possible conditions of the rectum and colon. Your doctor might be interested in screening for polyps and cancer, besides finding causes for changes in bowel movements. If you have been spotting blood in feces or pain in the abdomen, doctor may use Colonoscopy as a means to find possible causes. Colonoscopy might be recommended for patients suffering from diarrhea and constipation.
Should I get colonoscopy done?
Colon cancer has been linked to age, and therefore, anyone over the age of 50 should get Colonoscopy done at least once in five to ten years. Colonoscopy might be recommended earlier, if the patient has a history of colon cancer, rectal bleeding and polyps. It is possible to treat colon cancers and polyps in time with colonoscopy screening.
Are there any complications?
Colonoscopy is considered to be a safe procedure, and considering what it helps to diagnose, the complications aren’t severe at all. Some patients may have bleeding from the site from where tissues have been taken for biopsy, while others may be a risk of tear in the rectal wall. Please talk to your doctor to know what if colonoscopy has any specific risk for you.
Before the procedure
Colonoscopy screening requires the patient to do some initial prep work, which includes having a clear and liquid diet for 24 hours or more before the procedure. Your doctor may recommend a list of liquid diets that you can have, such as juices, plain coffee, tea, and sports drinks. If you are already taking medications for other conditions, your doctor may recommend stopping those, so that the colonoscopy can be done effectively. Typically speaking, vitamins and blood thinners must be avoided before colonoscopy.
After the procedure, do not drive for at least 24 hours, and doctors may ask you to wait for at least an hour, so that the effects of the sedative are minimized. Check with a known doctor now to know if you must go for colonoscopy for colon cancer.