Having a colonoscopy is not something that you are eager to do. But, did you know that colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death for both men and women? And, with the use of a colonoscopy, colon cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. While the American Cancer Society encourages everyone who is over the age of 50 to have a colonoscopy, a colon screening may be needed for younger individuals who have a problem with bleeding from the rectum, iron deficiency anemia, chronic diarrhea, or unexplained, rapid weight loss.
When scheduling your colonoscopy, be sure to tell your Glendora General Surgeon about your health condition, both past and present, and about all medicines or supplements that you are taking, especially any blood thinners. You may be told to stop the use of aspirin, iron supplements, or certain prescription drugs for a few days prior to, or for a few days after, your procedure. A small measure of preventive medical care can potentially add years to your life.
Here is what you can expect before, during, and after your procedure:
Preparation for a Colonoscopy
Depending on your personal situation, your preparation time may be one or two days prior to your procedure. You will need to colon out your colon with a special solution and a liquid diet that will push all waste out of your system. This cleaning ensures that your surgeon is able to check your colon without any obstructions.
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure and takes less than an hour to perform. It can be done in a clinic, your surgeon’s office, or a hospital. Before the colonoscopy, you will be given a local anesthesia or another sedative so that you will not experience any pain. Once you are asleep, or greatly relaxed, the surgeon inserts a colonoscope, a flexible, thin medical instrument with an attached camera, through your rectum into your colon. If the surgeon finds any irregularities or polyps, tissue samples will be taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis. When the procedure is finished, the surgeon withdraws the colonoscope and uses a medicated cleanser to wipe any fluids left at the entry site.
After a Colonoscopy
It may take an hour or more for you to recover after the colonoscopy. You’ll need to have someone drive you home because of the lingering effects of the anesthesia or sedative. If everything is negative, you’ll be told how many years you can wait before the next procedure. If your procedure revealed any questionable issues, your surgeon would tell if any other procedure will be needed.
You surgeon will tell you when you can resume your normal activities or work schedule, and, if needed when to schedule any follow-up appointment.