The gastrointestinal specialists at GI Associates Clinic are well equipped to handle a variety of procedures.
Colonoscopy is a highly effective procedure used primarily to screen for colon cancer.Download Our PDF
When you see the word colonoscopy what immediately comes to your mind? Unfortunately, it is usually viewed as an uncomfortable and humiliating procedure rather than a potentially life-saving exam. Many people would prefer to accept the risk of cancer rather than undergo this simple procedure. With proper preparation and knowledge, this procedure is not as scary and humiliating as it is made out to be.
There are two different kinds of colorectal cancer screening exams a gastroenterologist may use to examine the inside of the colon; a colonoscopy and a sigmoidoscopy. Both of these exams use what is called an endoscope, a lighted, flexible instrument with a little camera on the end that allows them to see the inside of your digestive tract. Endoscopy has become one of the best diagnostic tools available for gastrointestinal specialists. It gives doctors the advantage of being able to see inside the colon. It is completely safe and is even more accurate than an X-ray examination.
A colonoscopy exam is one that allows the gastroenterologist to examine the rectum and the entire colon. The endoscope is gently eased inside the colon, allowing the gastroenterologist to see all areas of the colon. What they are looking for are polyps, small growths that could be cancerous. Small amounts of air are pumped into the colon to help the gastroenterologist see clearly and to keep the colon open. The entire exam takes only about thirty minutes and patients are usually given medicine to help them relax or sleep during the procedure. Your gastroenterologist will discuss with you how often this procedure needs to be done depending on your personal risk for colon cancer. They also go over all colon cancer screening guidelines and any concerns or hesitations you might have.