Nearly one in every 20 adults in the United States develops colon cancer in their lifetime. A colonoscopy is a screening tool used to help diagnose colon cancer, and any polyps that are found can be removed during the procedure. If you have symptoms or are due for a routine colonoscopy, the board-certified gastroenterologists at Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia in Macon, Georgia, are here for you. They perform colonoscopies at their state-of-the-art outpatient facility. Schedule an appointment with Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia over the phone at your convenience.
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to view the inside of your large intestine, which includes your colon and rectum. They use a thin tube with a tiny camera attached to it to look for abnormal growths (polyps), inflamed tissue, and other intestinal lesions.
Your gastroenterologist uses a colonoscopy to detect early signs of colon and rectal cancer as part of a routine screening or to evaluate:
Your provider might recommend getting colonoscopy starting between the ages of 45-50 or earlier if you have a personal history of colon polyps or a family history of colon cancer.
Before a colonoscopy, your doctor gives you a bowel prep and instructions for using it at home to clean out your colon. Completely emptying out your colon makes it easier for your doctor to view the inside walls of your colon and rectum clearly. The prep might include a laxative, enema, or special dietary instructions.
You’re given medicine that keeps you relaxed and reduces discomfort prior to your colonoscopy. During the procedure, you lie down on your side on a table. Your gastroenterologist inserts a colonoscope into your rectum. During your colonoscopy, this thin tube is slowly pushed along to view the entire length of the colon.
They gently pump air into your colon to inflate it so the doctor can easily view the inside of your large intestine. The colonoscope’s camera sends images to a monitor so your doctor can look for abnormalities. They might remove polyps or other abnormal tissue, or take a tissue biopsy during the procedure. Your colonoscopy might last about 30 minutes.
After a colonoscopy, you recover for about an hour. A friend or family member must drive you home after the procedure. You might feel gassy or bloated for several hours or experience blood in your first bowel movement. Take the rest of the day off from work or physical activity. You might have to follow a special diet temporarily.
If your doctor finds a polyp or other abnormal tissue, he sends it to a lab for review. Based on your colonoscopy results, you might require further treatment or additional colonoscopies every year or every 5-10 years.
Don’t put off a colonoscopy as getting one can save your life. Schedule an appointment with Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia over the phone today.