Thanks to advanced technology in medicine, doctors can offer many services to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions without general surgery. A colonoscopy is a procedure that monitors the health of your large colon. If you are getting older or have been told to consider a colonoscopy, keep reading.
What Is a Colonoscopy?
During a colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a long, thin, flexible camera into the rectum and through the large colon. The doctor looks for any irregularities, such as discoloration and polys. The doctor will use the camera to take a sample of any suspicious tissue or remove any polys. If left untreated, polyps can get larger, causing intestinal blockage, and they are prone to turning cancerous.
The treatment can be slightly uncomfortable, but the doctor will inject you with a relaxing agent. For this reason, you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure. In fact, you will likely be too drowsy to do anything other than take a nap or relax.
Before the colonoscopy, you'll need to prepare your colon. The doctor will prescribe a special drink that helps flush out the colon. You may get urgent feelings to empty your colon, so make sure to stay near a bathroom. The doctor may prohibit you from eating certain foods like popcorn, and you can't eat anything the day of the procedure (until after the procedure).
Who Should Consider a Colonoscopy?
Colon cancer is incredibly common in America, especially among older adults. For this reason, you should start getting regular colonoscopies at the age of 45. If you've had regular healthy colonoscopies, your doctor may allow you to stop around 76 years of age.
If you have a higher risk of catching colon cancer because you had a parent or sibling with colon cancer, your doctor may recommend early screening. Similarly, if you have a personal history of polyps, starting colorectal screening early is vital.
You may also want to consider a colonoscopy if:
A colonoscopy helps keep your colon healthy, which helps reduce your risk of many issues, especially colon cancer. As with any cancer, catching colon cancer early is crucial for treatment and survival rate. For more information on colonoscopies, contact a company like Gastro Health.