A colonoscopy is an examination of the inside of the colon, performed by endoscopy. During the procedure, a surgeon uses a flexible scope to see inside the large intestine, which is also known as the large bowel or colon. The evaluation checks for the presence of abdominal disease, as well as colon cancer or pre-cancer. If your doctor recommends one, here’s what you can ask to better understand why and what to expect.
What to Ask Before a Colonoscopy
1. Why Should I Have a Colonoscopy?
Every patient is unique. However, there are a few reasons why a doctor will recommend a colonoscopy. In most cases, it is because you are over the age of 50, as all men and women should begin screening at this time. If you have a family history of colon cancer or certain types of polyps, a doctor may suggest the test. They may also schedule you for the exam if you are younger and have a bowel disease or symptoms of abdominal bleeding.
2. What Are the Benefits of Having the Procedure?
While a specialist will elaborate in detail, there are a few general advantages to the procedure. An endoscopy is a simple and reliable way to detect polyps, which could develop into cancer. It is also effective at detecting cancer early and helps determine the treatment needed for other abdominal conditions.
3. What Is the Procedure Like?
Preparations may vary depending on your condition or the medications you take, and there are various options for sedation. Usually, a general surgeon places a flexible scope into the colon to look for signs of blood, cancer, or polyps. They may take a biopsy or remove polyps if necessary. The exam is outpatient, which means you return home afterward. Ask how long the sedative takes to wear off or how to best care for yourself after the procedure.
Innovations in medicine make it possible for patients to receive surgical treatments outside of a big hospital. Peninsula Surgery & Aesthetics in Homer and Soldotna, AK, is a smaller and more private facility that offers flexible scheduling and a compassionate and dedicated staff. To make an appointment to discuss a colonoscopy, call (907) 235-1010 today. For information about their general surgeon, Dr. Alvarez, who has been practicing medicine since 1987, visit the website.