Around the age of 50, most people should have a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer. You might also need this procedure to identify the cause of uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. John Brandt, MD, and J. Steven Mathews, MD, at Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas, offer state-of-the-art colonoscopies to monitor your health as well as diagnose gastrointestinal disease. If you need a colonoscopy, call Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center or make an appointment online today.
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows your doctor to examine the inside of your colon. A colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera on its tip. Your doctor inserts it into your rectum and colon, and it sends images to a screen in the treatment room.
In addition to examining your colon, your doctor can also take biopsies and remove abnormal tissue during a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is one of the standard screening tests for colon cancer. The team at Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center might also recommend the procedure to:
Chronic abdominal pain and abnormal digestive activity have many potential causes. Your doctor uses colonoscopy to identify the root cause of your symptoms.
Your doctor gives you customized instructions on how to prepare for your colonoscopy. In general, you need to consume only clear liquids for 24-72 hours and fast completely for 8-12 hours before your procedure. Your doctor might also provide a laxative to help empty your bowel.
Make sure your doctor knows your full medical history, including any medications, vitamins, or supplements that you take daily. They should also know about any history of inflammatory bowel conditions, obstructions, or surgeries.
Your doctor provides a sedative before starting your colonoscopy. You wear a gown and lie on your side on the treatment table. Your physician might recommend that you pull your knees to your chest and rest in a fetal position.
Once sedated and comfortable, your doctor inserts the colonoscope into your rectum. They inflate your colon with air and slowly guide the device through your large intestine. The air creates space in your colon, which allows for more clear and detailed images.
They monitor the images on a screen in the treatment room, looking for signs of the condition causing your symptoms. If necessary, they can take a biopsy or remove abnormal growths like polyps.
The procedure usually takes 40-60 minutes. A friend or family member can drive you home after your colonoscopy.
If you’re due for a colonoscopy or have unexplained, persistent gastrointestinal symptoms, call Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center or make an appointment online today.