Colonoscopy is a common and very safe procedure that examines the lining of your lower intestinal tract called the colon or large intestine. Colonoscopy means “to look inside the colon.”
In a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. A small video camera at the point of the tube allows the doctor to see the inside of the entire colon. If required, polyps or different kinds of abnormal tissue can be dismissed through the scope during a colonoscopy. Tissue samples (biopsies) are taken in this process.
Why is colonoscopy done?
Colonoscopy may be performed for a No. of reasons. The vast majority of colonoscopies are performed as part of screening programs to diagnose colon cancer. A colonoscopy can help a doctor find the cause of symptoms, such as.
1. Bleeding from your anus
2.Changes in your bowel activity, such as diarrhea
3.Pain in your abdomen
4.Unexplained weight loss
How frequently should one undergo colonoscopy depends on the degree of the risk for cancer and the abnormalities discovered at previous colonoscopies. One widely accepted recommendation has been that even fit people at normal risk for colon cancer should undergo colonoscopy at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter for the purpose of separating colonic polyps before they become cancerous.
Colonoscopy (KOH-luh-NOS-koh-pee) is a test that can prevent colon cancer or find it early when it’s easier to treat and cure. Colonoscopies are done in an outpatient setting at a clinic or at a hospital. The test is done by a gastroenterologist or health care provider who has specialized training to find and remove polyps from the colon and check for signs of cancer. Polyps are growths in the colon that may turn into cancer.A colonoscope is used during a colonoscopy. It is a thin, flexible tube that has a light, camera, and a tool to remove polyps or to collect cells for testing
Before a colonoscopy, the colon must be thoroughly cleansed. This cleaning out process is called bowel prep. If your colon is not completely clean, your health care provider may not be able to clearly see your entire colon. This may lead to missed polyps or cancer. For the bowel prep, you will drink a laxative that causes frequent stools and diarrhea. Consider staying home during this time since you will need to use the bathroom very often.
On the day of your colonoscopy, you will be given medicine intravenously that puts you in a light sleep called “conscious sedation.” It is likely that you will not feel pain or even remember the procedure. After the colonoscopy, you will wake up in the recovery area and will stay there until you are fully awake. You should plan on being at the health care provider’s office for about two hours.It is normal to have mild cramps or gas for several hours after the procedure.
When you get home, plan to take it easy for the rest of the day. Have an adult helper with you to make sure you are well. If you take care of children, it is best to ask someone to watch them. Do not go to work or do heavy activities like housework. The next day you should be able to do your regular activities again.While problems after colonoscopy are rare, it’s important to know early signs of possible problems. Call your health care provider if you notice severe stomach pain, fever, and chills, or a lot of rectal bleeding. You may have some bleeding for several days after the colonoscopy. Call your health care provider’s office if you have any questions or concerns.