A colonoscopy is a quick and safe procedure. If patients follow the bowel prep instructions, the exam is painless, and many don’t remember it afterward.
A doctor will insert a scope into the rectum and the colon, scanning the lining for polyps that can become colorectal cancer when left untreated. A doctor can also remove polyps during the procedure itself.
A colonoscopy may sound like an awful rite of passage for middle-aged adults, but the invasive exam can be beneficial. When doctors detect polyps during a colonoscopy and then snip them away, they can prevent colorectal cancer in the future.
During a colonoscopy Denver, doctors insert a long, slender tube with a camera on its end into the rectum and then advance it through the large intestine, enabling them to see the colon’s lining. The procedure is usually painless and requires sedation or anesthesia, so patients need to remember the exam.
Suppose a doctor notices any growth during a colonoscopy. In that case, they usually order a guaiac-based fecal occult blood test to determine if the blood in the stool might indicate a giant tumor or precancerous polyp. If a patient has blood in the stool, a biopsy of a suspicious area will be performed during a follow-up appointment.
Individuals can reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer through various preventive measures. For example, patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis who get the inflammation under control will often find that their colonoscopies become more accurate in detecting precancerous tissue and early cancers.
A slender tube or “scope” is inserted into the rectum during a colonoscopy to inspect the bowel lining for abnormal growth. The doctor can also use the scope to insert instruments to perform biopsies and remove polyps. It is not usually painful, and doctors can stop bleeding from polyps or bowel tissue by using medications or heat treatment or sealing blood vessels with metal clips.
While most patients experience no issues during a colonoscopy, it is essential to note that complications are infrequent, occurring in less than 1% of cases. People should talk with their healthcare provider and ask about their concerns. They should also let their healthcare provider know if they are taking any blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin products, before the procedure.
Even though a recent study found that screening colonoscopies don’t cut colorectal cancer deaths as much as previously thought, doctors still strongly recommend the test for those at average risk. Inserting a slender and supple tube colonoscope into the large intestine is a crucial step in the procedure and cannot be omitted. It is done by inserting the tube through the rectum. A camera on the end of the scope allows doctors to look at the colon’s lining and remove any precancerous polyps.
In addition, doctors can spot other issues like inflammation or bacterial infection. If a patient is taking blood thinners, they must alert their doctor before having the test. These medications may cause bleeding during the exam.
Depending on your insurance plan, you might be charged for a colonoscopy as a diagnostic test instead of a screening test if a polyp is removed during the procedure. However, the federal government recently clarified that removing polyps from a screening colonoscopy should be covered by insurance, so patients won’t have to pay extra for the service.
A colonoscopy allows us to see the entire lining of your large intestine. It’s often the best tool to diagnose and treat many problems, including polyps.
It is imperative to note that polyps found and extracted during a colonoscopy have a significantly reduced risk of progressing into cancer compared to undetected ones. A recent European study found that colonoscopies were better at finding polyps than other screening tools—including at-home stool tests for blood and colon cancer cells.
If your gastroenterologist finds something during your procedure, they may take a small tissue sample for biopsy. You won’t know the results of those lab tests for a few days to weeks.
A colonoscopy is a safe procedure for most patients. Complications happen in fewer than 1% of cases but can be severe. These include bleeding after the exam and perforation of the colon, which requires surgery and hospitalization. Before your colonoscopy, you should prepare by eating a low-fiber diet for two to three days and taking a laxative formula the day before.