Posts for tag: Colonoscopy
How your gastroenterologists in Anchorage, Alaska can help you
You probably haven’t thought much about a colonoscopy, but if you are age 50 or older, a colonoscopy is important. That’s because the procedure can detect colorectal cancer at an early stage, when it is most treatable. Colorectal cancer ranks third in cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 49,000 people will die of the disease this year.
The gastroenterologists at Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease in Anchorage, Alaska Dr. Ronald Boisen, Dr. Daryl McClendon, and Dr. Jeffrey Molloy provide a full range of services including colonoscopies, to protect the health of your digestive system.
These are just a few of the most common questions and answers about colonoscopies:
When should I begin having colonoscopies?
When you are at least 50 years old or have a family history of colon cancer. You may also need a colonoscopy if you experience:
- Blood in your stool
- Recurrent diarrhea
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic abdominal pain
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
You will need to have only clear liquids the day before your colonoscopy. You will also need to take laxatives prescribed by your doctor to clean out your colon.
Will I be awake during the colonoscopy?
You will probably be sedated for the procedure, so you won’t remember much of the appointment or the procedure. It’s important to bring a driver with you to take you home.
How is a colonoscopy performed?
A small, ultra-thin, flexible tube is inserted into your rectum and threaded through your colon. The tube contains a small camera at the tip, which allows your gastroenterologist to see the inside of your colon.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure takes about 45 minutes, but the entire appointment will require 2 to 3 hours because of sedation.
A colonoscopy is a vital tool in the fight against colon cancer. To find out more about colonoscopies and other gastrointestinal services to help you stay healthy, call the gastroenterologists at Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease in Anchorage, Alaska today!
Chances are good you’ve heard of a colonoscopy before, whether through a health report on the news or because you know someone who had to get one. A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure and often a screening tool that allows your gastroenterologist to be able to see what the lining of the colon and intestines looks. A thin scope is inserted into the rectum and carefully directed through the lower intestines. The scope has a camera at the end that allows your doctor to pinpoint potential problems with the lining of the intestines or colon. There are a few reasons why your doctor might recommend getting a colonoscopy.
If a patient comes in complaining of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or persistent diarrhea and these symptoms can’t be explained through a routine exam and testing then your GI doctor may recommend performing a colonoscopy to be able to determine the root cause for these symptoms. This might be particularly helpful if you or a family member has a history of colon cancer or colon polyps.
Even if you are feeling fine, both men and women, once they reach 50-years-old, will need to start getting routine colonoscopies to screen for colon polyps and other signs of colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is one of the most effective screening tools a gastroenterologist has for being able to pinpoint warning signs of cancer with the large intestines and colon. No other screening tool will be able to provide the detailed imaging that a colonoscopy can.
If the results of your routine colonoscopy come back normal then you probably won’t need to repeat the procedure for another 10 years. If one or more polyps were detected during your colonoscopy your GI specialist may choose to remove them during the procedure but may recommend that you come in more regularly for a colonoscopy.
You may also need to have this procedure performed more often if you have a family or personal history of colon cancer or colon polyps. It’s important to be upfront about your detailed medical history when talking to a gastrointestinal specialist to determine the best colonoscopy schedule to protect your digestive health.
No matter if you are experiencing distressing intestinal symptoms or you just turned 50-years-old, it’s a good idea to turn to a gastrointestinal specialist who can provide you with the individualized care you need. Remember, getting a colonoscopy after you turn 50 could just end up saving your life!
What your gastroenterologist wants you to know
The right time to get a colonoscopy is if you are over 50 years old, or if you have a family history of colon cancer. There are also signs and symptoms to pay attention to which may indicate the need for a colonoscopy. You should see your gastroenterologist to schedule a colonoscopy if you have:
- Rectal bleeding
- Black, tarry stools which may indicate blood in your stool
- A family history of intestinal growths or polyps
- Chronic, recurrent constipation or diarrhea
- Chronic, recurrent pain in your abdomen
A colonoscopy is the primary screening tool to determine if you have colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy also helps to diagnose colorectal cancer at an early stage, when it is more easily treatable. Don’t delay having a colonoscopy because the longer you wait, the more serious colorectal cancer becomes.
The American Cancer Society states that colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this country, with over 49,000 people dying from the disease this year alone.
A colonoscopy typically requires you to be sedated. A long, ultra-thin flexible tube is inserted into your rectum and guided up through your intestines. The tube contains a camera at one end which allows your gastroenterologist to view your colon, remove polyps or take a small sample of tissue for biopsy.
When you come in for your colonoscopy, be sure to bring a driver with you to take you home, and plan on spending 2 to 3 hours in the office. The procedure takes about 45 minutes, and additional time is required for you to recover from sedation.
Remember that early diagnosis is made possible by having a colonoscopy and that early diagnosis is critical to start early treatment. You don’t want to be a cancer statistic, so if you are over 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, take the time to schedule your colonoscopy. Protect your health by calling today!