Colorectal cancer is the third-most common type of cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men, yet it’s preventable when caught at an early stage during a colonoscopy. The physicians at California Colorectal Surgeons have extensive experience performing colonoscopies to detect and then remove precancerous and cancerous polyps. To learn whether you should be screened, call the office in Beverly Hills, California, or book an appointment online.
A colonoscopy is a procedure to examine, diagnose, and treat the inside of your rectum and colon. Your physician at California Colorectal Surgeons uses a colonoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube that contains lighting and a video camera. As it’s gently guided through your colon, it transmits high-definition images of the colon wall.
As a screening tool, a colonoscopy allows your surgeon to find polyps and colon cancer. A colonoscopy may also be used to determine the cause of symptoms such as rectal bleeding, diarrhea, or constipation.
If problems are identified during a colonoscopy, specialized instruments inserted through the colonoscope are used to remove polyps, take a tissue biopsy, open a blockage, or stop bleeding.
Colon cancer starts as a non-cancerous polyp that grows in the lining of your colon or rectum. Using a colonoscopy to remove polyps at an early stage can prevent colon cancer.
Most people should have a screening colonoscopy at the age of 45 or 50. However, you may need earlier screening if you have a higher risk of colon cancer due to:
Being overweight also increases your risk of developing colon cancer.
When you undergo a colonoscopy, your doctor at California Colorectal Surgeons must be able to see the lining of your large intestine. This means that all waste must be thoroughly removed prior to your procedure, so you’ll receive instructions for cleansing your colon.
In addition to following a liquid diet, you’ll need to take a bowel preparation solution. Although it doesn’t taste great, it’s the most important step you can take to ensure a successful colonoscopy.
You’re sedated during your colonoscopy, but the medication is short-acting and you’ll easily wake up. The procedure takes less than a half hour, then you stay in the recovery room 30-45 minutes.
You’ll be able to eat normally when your procedure is finished, but you should plan to relax the rest of the day. You can get back to your usual activities the next day.
If you need to schedule a colonoscopy, call California Colorectal Surgeons or book an appointment online.