The thought of having a colonoscopy can be a bit intimidating for many people. However, a colonoscopy is a fairly straightforward procedure that doesn’t take very long to perform. To help you better prepare for one, below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about colonoscopies. Dr. Melvin Bullock, your Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA, gastroenterologist, can answer any additional questions you might have.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that makes it possible for a doctor to examine the lining of your colon, which also happens to be your large intestine. Colonoscopies are used to check for signs of colon cancer, polyps and other gastrointestinal problems.
How is a colonoscopy performed?
A tool called a colonoscope is used to perform a colonoscopy. A colonoscope is a flexible tube with a camera on the end. The camera allows the doctor to observe the lining of the colon during the procedure. To perform the colonoscopy, the colonoscope is inserted into the colon through the anus. The doctor slowly moves the colonoscope along the inside of the colon until the entire length has been examined.
How long does the procedure take?
The colonoscopy procedure typically lasts between thirty minutes to one hour. If the doctor discovers polyps during the colonoscopy and removes them at that time, then the procedure could take a bit longer. Total time at the doctor’s office might be about three hours including preparation and recovery time. Most patients return home the same day.
Does a colonoscopy hurt?
A colonoscopy is generally well-tolerated by most individuals and does not hurt. Most doctors give patients a sedative to help them relax during the procedure. A painkiller can also be administered to ease any potential discomfort.
What happens before the colonoscopy?
To prepare for the colonoscopy, your doctor will prescribe a cleansing routine as the colon needs to be completely clean in order to perform the procedure. The cleansing routine can consist of dietary restrictions, oral laxatives or a special cleansing solution.
Who needs a colonoscopy?
All adults should have a colonoscopy exam at age fifty. Individuals with a family history of colon cancer should have their first colonoscopy at an earlier age, as should individuals with certain medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Your Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta gastroenterologist can help determine how soon you need a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is a fairly simple procedure that can help you stay healthy by detecting any early warning signs of colon cancer or other gastrointestinal problems. A gastroenterologist can tell you if a colonoscopy is right for you at this time. To schedule an appointment to with Dr. Bullock, your Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA, gastroenterologist, call (770) 442-5882.