Have you been avoiding or postponing colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy – It is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Also it’s a medical test that most people dread and joke about. But this test could save your life if you are aged 50 or more.
Colon cancer screening can be lifesaving, but due to certain myths about colonoscopy, it stops people from getting screened. The truth is that this test is safe and minimally invasive. It can also help save your life.
A colonoscopy procedure is part of the screening process for colorectal cancer also known as colon cancer, a slow-growing cancer that may not present symptoms until it’s progressed to a later stage. Still feeling uneasy about getting a colonoscopy? Here’s what to expect before, during and after the procedure:
BEFORE THE COLONOSCOPY PROCEDURE
The preparation of a colonoscopy, which is the key part of your colonoscopy, is also the worst part, but it is much easier these days. One should follow your gastroenterologist’s instructions carefully so you don’t have to do this twice. If your doctor cannot adequately see inside your colon, you may need to repeat the exam.
Before the procedure, your colon needs to be empty and clean. A few days before you will have only low-fiber diet. One day before the colonoscopy you will be completely on clear liquid diet like vegetable broth, water and tea. Also make sure to avoid red and purple food dye.
Next, you’ll start drinking the liquid your gastroenterologist prescribes. Fortunately, bowel-cleaning agents have become better-tasting in recent years.
DURING THE COLONOSCOPY PROCEDURE
Once you get into the exam room, you will be asked lie on your left side on the examination table. You’ll be sedated through the IV in your arm, so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the colonoscopy procedure.
Your gastroenterologist will use a fiber optic scope to look for any abnormalities in your colon (large intestine). There is a camera attached at the tip of the scope to view inside the colon. Your doctor will find and remove any polyps (small growths on the colon wall) before they’ve had a chance to grow and turn into cancer.
The procedure takes around 35-45 minutes.
AFTER THE COLONOSCOPY PROCEDURE
After the procedure your gastroenterologist will share the result. Some of the findings are known right away. If there is a polyp and needed to be removed, it may take a few days to get the result.
Most people feel normal and can start eating shortly after the procedure, but at beginning you will be asked to eat light foods. Also you should be able to drive and go to work on the same day.
If you too are concerned about getting a colonoscopy, colonoscopy specialist. Ask as many questions as you need so you feel more comfortable.
You can also contact Dr. Bhavesh Thakkar, Colonoscopy Specialist in Ahmedabad.