Do I Need a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a non-surgical procedure that is used to screen patients for colorectal cancer. They are important because they allow doctors to catch cancers in their early stages when they can be easily treated and small polyps before they develop into tumors. The team of doctors at Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease in Anchorage, AK can provide you with a colonoscopy. Here’s why colonoscopies are important for your health.
Why Do You Need a Colonoscopy?
Anchorage residents may need a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer if they are over 50. Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy every ten years, or more frequently if you have a high risk of colon cancer. If you have previously had polyps removed from your colon, your doctor will recommend a follow-up colonoscopy to look for any remaining polyps.
Preparing for a Colonoscopy
The procedure is quick and painless. You will need to stay at home and prepare for your colonoscopy the day before your procedure is scheduled. You will need to avoid high fiber foods for two days before your colonoscopy. Your doctor may also advise you to stop taking some of your medications. The day prior to your colonoscopy, you will need to change to a liquid-only diet. You can drink clear soup or broth, clear drinks, water, and non-pulp juices.
The night before your procedure you will have to drink a prescribed bowel cleansing solution. This will eliminate any remaining contents from your bowels to ensure that your colon is prepared for the colonoscopy. On the day of your colonoscopy, you will continue with the liquid diet until two hours before the procedure. Then you must have nothing to drink until afterward.
How a Colonoscopy is Performed
Upon arrival at your doctor’s office, you will be given a gown to change into and a sedative to prevent discomfort during the procedure. You will lay on your side and pull your knees up to your chest. Your doctor will gently insert a tube into your rectum and inflate your colon with carbon dioxide to enable a clear view of the lining of your colon.
The small camera attached to the end of the tube will transmit images to a monitor so your doctor can perform a thorough examination. He may also use small instruments to remove polyps or remove tissue samples. The procedure takes less than an hour. You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure. Your doctor will call you and make a follow-up appointment if he discovers any abnormalities.
If you are looking for a gastroenterologist in Anchorage, call Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease today on (907) 569-1333 to schedule an appointment.