What Is A Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is the only method for screening the colon or rectum for signs of cancer. It can be done proactively to help you identify signs of cancer at the earliest stage possible, or it can be done to identify the root cause of abdominal pain or diarrhea. Your surgeon may also perform a colonoscopy to identify and remove polyps from the colon and rectum or prevent them from becoming cancerous.

man after Colonoscopy in Herrin & Mount Vernon

Reasons for a Colonoscopy:

  • Detect precancerous polyps
  • Detect colorectal cancer
  • Diagnose the root cause of abdominal pain or diarrhea
  • Diagnose the root cause of bloody or dark stool and rectal bleeding
  • Diagnose the root cause of iron deficiencies
  • Understand why you’re suffering from unexplained weight loss
  • Treat inflammatory bowel disease
  • Prevent colorectal cancer

Preventing Colorectal Cancer

A colonoscopy is the most effective means of preventing colorectal cancer. Colon cancer can develop and spread without showing symptoms until it has advanced considerably. That’s why colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death. Dr. Ahuja performs a colonoscopy in Herrin and Mount Vernon to identify potential signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, such as polyps on the intestinal wall, making it an essential component of cancer prevention.

Your Colonoscopy Procedure

You might be asked to take a laxative the night before your colonoscopy to ensure your body has eliminated all fecal matter from the colon and rectum. Your surgeon may also recommend a special diet a few days before the procedure. During the colonoscopy procedure, Dr. Ahuja inserts a colonoscope through the anus and rectum to visualize the intestines. If necessary, the surgeon may use special instruments to remove polyps or harvest tissue samples for biopsies.

Colonoscopy Aftercare

You may feel bloated and pass gas for a few hours after the colonoscopy. You may also experience a little discomfort while waking up. You should eat and drink items that you can easily digest for a few days, such as water, liquid food, and pureed items. If polyps are removed during your colonoscopy, you may need up to a week to recover completely. You should avoid strenuous workouts and heavy lifting during the recovery period.

Colonoscopy FAQs

What are the potential risks and complications of a colonoscopy?

While generally safe, potential risks and complications of a colonoscopy include bleeding, bowel perforation, adverse reactions to anesthesia, infections, or cardiovascular events. However, Dr. Ahuja takes all possible measures to ensure optimal safety.

How long does a colonoscopy typically take?

On average, a colonoscopy lasts 30 minutes to an hour. However, this can vary based on factors such as your anatomy and any findings during the examination. You should also allocate additional time for preparation and recovery.

How often should I have a colonoscopy?

Screening guidelines recommend colonoscopies every ten years, starting at age 45 to 50, for average-risk individuals. However, frequency may vary based on personal and family medical history. Please consult Dr. Ahuja to determine the most appropriate schedule for you.

Are there any dietary restrictions before or after the colonoscopy?

Before the procedure, patients typically follow a clear, liquid diet and abstain from solid foods for a day. Additionally, they may need to take laxatives to cleanse the colon. Afterward, gradually reintroducing solid foods and staying hydrated is advised while avoiding greasy meals initially.

What happens if abnormalities are found during the colonoscopy?

If abnormalities like polyps or suspicious lesions are discovered, the gastroenterologist may take tissue samples or remove them during the procedure. These samples are sent for biopsy to determine if they are benign or potentially cancerous. Further treatment or surveillance may be recommended based on the results.

Why Choose Us For A Colonoscopy In Herrin & Mount Vernon?

Ahuja Bariatric & Beyond is a state-of-the-art medical center specializing in laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgical procedures. Dr. Ahuja, our medical surgeon, is a fellowship-trained surgeon with thousands of gastrointestinal procedures under his belt. He takes proactive measures to help you remain cancer-free and ensures your comfort at all stages. Please schedule an appointment to learn more about colon cancer surgery and a colonoscopy in Herrin and Mount Vernon.

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