On average, there are more than 40,000 Americans who get a colonoscopy and surprisingly they don’t know how it works. They don’t even know how often the screening should be done and why it is important. Many of them even don’t know that colonoscopy procedure is hardly routine despite them being performed daily. The procedures involved in it are only performed by those having expertise in it as it requires intense sedation and preparation. However, the patients need to understand everything about colonoscopy so that they can be prepared well before the examination at Gastro Center NJ.
What is colonoscopy?
It is an exam or you can say test to detect the abnormalities or any changes in your rectum and large intestine. The doctor will take a view inside the entire colon to check any abnormalities by inserting a long flexible tube into the rectum. The tube has a tiny video camera that allows them to have an internal view.
Why colonoscopy is done?
When you reach Gastro Center NJ, you may be recommended colonoscopy and here are the reasons why.
- To check the intestinal symptoms and signs- the doctor will check the causes of intestinal problems such as chronic constipation, abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.
- Screening for colon cancer – those above 50 years of age – is at average risk of having colon cancer. The screening of colon cancer is recommended every 10 years for which colonoscopy is done.
- To check polyps- in case you have polyps in the past, your doctor will recommend colonoscopy to check for more polyps so that the risk of colon cancer can be reduced at an early stage.
A colonoscopy at any Gastro Center NJ can detect more such as:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease and more
When to see the gastroenterologist?
People aged 45 or above should undergo a colonoscopy. At this age, the polyps or adenomas started developing along the colon in your body. They have a grape-like structure which is generally harmless. However, with time they can become cancerous. Approx 50% of patients who have undergone colonoscopy screening are detected with polyps. These can be removed easily without performing any surgery.
In case your polyps are big or you have a family history diagnosed with polyps then you may undergo repetitive colonoscopy screening. Usually within the time frame of 3 – 10 years the screening will be done. The best gastroenterologist at Gastro Center NJ will provide you complete guidance about this procedure.
However, age is not the only sign which shows that you need a colonoscopy. If you see the following symptoms, then consult your gastroenterologist.
- Weight loss
- Long lasting diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain
- Unusual bowel habits
Colonoscopy preparation before examination
The doctors at Gastro Center NJ will first discuss a few topics with the patients and give them some preparation instructions. The topics for discussion may include:
- They will recommend that you change your diets for Bowel cleaning. It may also include changing some of your food habits and avoiding specific foods to get prepared for a colonoscopy procedure.
- They make ask you to modify the current medications, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking.
- You may be provided with a bowel preparation kit which will consist of items such as laxatives which will clean your bowel.
You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything before six hours of your colonoscopy treatment.
What is the procedure?
A sedative will be given to you at the beginning after which you will experience bloating or cramping. This is because the air enters your colon. After 30 minutes of handling this, a thin flexible tube will be inserted into your rectum. It will go to your large intestine. As the tube has a camera which will display the inside of your colon to the doctor, he will study your internal health searching for any polyps inside the colon. The entire procedure will take only 30 minutes.
However, you may be in the clinic for at least three hours where the rest of the time will give you for preparation and recovery.
What is the recovery procedure?
At Gastro Center NJ, after the colonoscopy, you will be sent to a room for recovery. You may feel cramps and uneasy gassiness this is due to the sedatives. Don’t worry, this is normal and wait in the room until it goes off.
Once the sedatives wear off, you can take back the medications you paused before the screening. The results will be ready after some time. The doctor may also advise you about your next screening. The most important advice they will give you is, don’t drive yourself home. After the procedure, you may not feel well so driving is risky.
What results you can expect from colonoscopy?
Your results at Gastro Center NJ can be both positive and negative so be prepared for them.
If any abnormalities are found then you have to undergo another colonoscopy. If they ask you to come after a year then it is due to any residual stool which has prevented the examination. If they have been asked to wait for 5 years it is due to a history of polyps your family has. In the case of 10 years, you are likely to be at risk of colon cancer and that is due to your age and not because of any other factors.
If the doctor finds any polyps then it will be removed. They will remove the polyps and examine them to check whether they are noncancerous, precancerous or cancerous. Depending upon the size of polyps, you may be asked for the next screening. Like if they are less than 1 centimeter in diameter then in the upcoming 5-10 years you may develop a risk of colon cancer.
The results will be well and clearly shared with you at Gastro Center NJ so that your disease will be completely treated or prevented.