Sunday, March 24, 2013

Get Screened, It Could Save Your Life

What Is A Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum.  A Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers and abnormal growth.  The procedure is used to look for signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus and weight loss.

How to Prepare For A Colonoscopy:

The doctor will provide written instructions for bowel prep. Generally, all solids must be emptied from the gastrointestinal tract. Patients should not drink beverages containing red or purple dye. 

All solids must be emptied from following a clear liquid diet for 1 - 3 days before a colonoscopy. 

Option: Colonoscopy preparation using colon hydrotherapy Dr. Joseph Fiorito, Chief Of Gastroenterology

  • During a colonoscopy, a sedative and pain medication helps keep patients relaxed.
  • The doctor can also take samples from abnormal-looking tissues during the colonoscopy and later test them in a laboratory for signs of disease. The procedure is called a biopsy. Polyps are common in adults and are usually harmless. However, most colorectal cancer begins as a polyp, so removing polyps early is an effective way to prevent cancer.

At what age should routine colonoscopy begin?

A routine colonoscopy should begin at age 50 for most people - earlier if there is a family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or other risk factors.  The doctor can advise patients how often to get a colonoscopy.

How long does recovery take?

A colonoscopy usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Cramping or bloating may occur during the first hour after the procedure. The sedative takes time to completely wear off. Full recovery is expected by the next day. Discharge instructions should be carefully read and followed. Driving is not permitted for 24 hours after a colonoscopy to allow the sedative to wear off. 

"Don't die of embarrassment, it could save your life"
-Katie Couric

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