As you age, staying active and healthy becomes more and more important. Preventative care also gains importance, ensuring that your doctor finds and treats any potential health concerns early before they become more complex issues requiring more invasive treatments. Colonoscopy is a super-effective preventative tool, helping patients stay healthy for years to come. Should you have a colonoscopy? Learn more about this important procedure with your gastroenterologist, Dr. Melvin Bullock with locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by your gastroenterologist to investigate gastrointestinal symptoms or as a screening for colorectal cancer. The procedure itself uses a long, thin tube called a colonoscope inserted rectally to scan the lining of the colon and large intestine for abnormalities. These abnormalities, called polyps, may be cancerous or pre-cancerous and doctors will often take a biopsy to test for the presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. The procedure normally takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes and occurs in your doctor’s office. Your doctor will administer sedation medication prior to beginning your procedure to help you feel relaxed.
Do I need a colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society recommends that all women and men over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. However, those with a high risk for colorectal cancer may need a colonoscopy more often. Those at a higher risk of colorectal cancer include individuals who have a family history of cancer, especially colorectal cancer or polyps, a personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or someone with an inflammatory bowel disease.
Colonoscopy in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta
After your procedure, your doctor will probably ask you to stay in a recovery room for about a half hour to ensure that there are no adverse effects due to the procedure or medications used. Prior to your procedure, you will fast and take laxatives to cleanse the colon and ensure that it is clean and free from debris during your procedure.
For more information on colonoscopy or to schedule your consultation for one, please contact Dr. Bullock with locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA. Call (770) 442-5882 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Bullock today!