A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows a healthcare provider to examine the entire large intestine using a colonoscope. The colonoscope is a thin (about the thickness of a finger), flexible, hollow, lighted tube that has a tiny video camera on the end. is a long flexible tube with a tiny video camera on the end. Small amounts of air are pumped into the colon to keep it open and allow a clear visual.
The Colonoscopy Procedure
A colonoscopy is performed using a colonoscope, which is a flexible tube with a tiny video camera attached to the end. The colonoscope is gently inserted into the colon through the anus. The camera at the end allows the gastroenterologist to observe the colon’s interior. If any suspicious areas are detected, the gastroenterologist can use the colonoscope to extract a sample for biopsy. Additionally, if polyps are found, they can be removed during the procedure, which is important because some polyps can develop into cancer.
Who Needs a Colonoscopy?
Everyone should have a colonoscopy exam around age 50. However, there are several situations that call for performing a colonoscopy at a younger age. For instance, adult men and women with a family history of colon cancer should have a colonoscopy by age 40. In some cases, depending on the age of the family member(s) with colon cancer, a colonoscopy might be performed even earlier than age 40. Colonoscopies are also performed on patients of varying ages who have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or other gastrointestinal problems.
If you are age 50 or older and have never had a colonoscopy, consider scheduling an appointment with a gastroenterologist to discuss having one. For adults of any age struggling with gastrointestinal issues, a colonoscopy can potentially determine the cause of the gastrointestinal problems.
Interested in a Colonoscopy from Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease?
Call our Anchorage, AK office at (907) 569-1333 today!