Discover Why It Is Essential to Have a Colonoscopy Exam
Are you aware that the five-year survival rate for individuals with colon or rectal cancer is 90% when the disease is found and treated in the early stage of its development? When used in identifying colorectal cancer and other colorectal disorders, colonoscopy has a distinction in the gastroenterology community as the most effective, dependable examination.
The skilled professionals at Digestive Health Associates of Texas regularly conduct colonoscopies for individuals throughout the community. Keep reading as our Dallas, TX digestive health team explains more about the important role colonoscopies carry out in safeguarding GI health.
Who should get a colonoscopy?
Regular colonoscopies are recommended for adults who are at least 45 years of age or older. People who are younger may also be advised to undergo a screening for cancer if any of the following criteria apply:
- Your family medical history includes colorectal cancer or polyps
- You have signs or symptoms that are associated with colon cancer, such as:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in your bowel movements
- You have a form of inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
It's important to recognize that the symptoms mentioned here are also representative of other GI disorders, making it essential to have a colonoscopy procedure to assess your digestive health and symptom. Get in touch with Digestive Health Associates of Texas for further information about other conditions that may be discovered during a colonoscopy procedure.
How long does it take for a colonoscopy?
In most instances, the whole colonoscopy process usually lasts a couple of hours, from preparation to recovery. Plan to arrive at your colonoscopy doctor's facility or endoscopy center in Dallas, TX 1 – 1.5 hours before your scheduled exam. This will give you some extra time to take care of any required patient forms and change into a hospital gown. When you are ready, you'll be shown into the procedure room, where the medical team will begin administering a sedative medication to keep you relaxed and at ease during your colonoscopy.
Generally speaking, a typical colonoscopy can take 15 – 30 minutes. Your physician will carefully position the colonoscope (a small, probe-attached camera) into the rectum, incrementally positioning it forward and watching the live video for any signs of concern. If colorectal polyps are found during the exam, your GI specialist may go ahead and remove them during this time.
When the procedure is complete, you will be given time to relax in a recovery area to allow the sedative effects to dissipate. This may take up to 60 minutes, depending on the amount of sedation used and how your body reacts to it. It's common to be groggy for the remainder of the day, so arrange to have someone drive you home. You should also avoid strenuous activity or signing essential papers during recovery. You will be sent home with a report detailing your screening results and will likely hear from your gastrointestinal specialist regarding any biopsy results usually within a week or so.
Colonoscopy exams really are a minuscule time investment for the diagnostic advantages they carry. For additional information regarding what to expect during your colonoscopy, please get in touch with a Digestive Health Associates of Texas location within your community to find a specialist who performs colonoscopies in Dallas, TX.
Are there any colonoscopy risks I should be aware of?
When evaluating risks associated with the procedure, there is a minor chance that some indications or concerns (including colon or rectal growths) might not be readily visible in your colonoscopy exam. It's vital to contact your gastrointestinal doctor and tell them of any persisting or new symptoms.
Other possible risks accompanying a colonoscopy are perforation of the colon, unfavorable response to the sedation, or bleeding (if any growths are excised). Keep in mind, however, that fewer than 1% of colonoscopy exams have complications, most of which are not severe. Should you have questions or concerns about the risks involved with a colonoscopy, our Digestive Health Associates of Texas providers will be happy to go over those with you.
Visit an experienced colonoscopy doctor in Dallas, TX
Given that colon and rectal cancer rates are increasing in the younger adult population, the value of undergoing a colonoscopy to safeguard your GI health cannot be overstressed. If you are 45 years old or older or you have an elevated risk of developing colon or rectal cancer, please reach out to the GI specialists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas to learn more about a colonoscopy exam. Be proactive with your GI health and contact our Dallas, TX practice without delay.