When Should I Get an Initial Colonoscopy Exam?

One of the most powerful methods of protecting against or detecting colorectal cancer early is through routine colon and rectal screenings. Unfortunately, about one-half of adults who are eligible have not undergone an initial colonoscopy procedure. Patients who have an average chance of developing colon or rectal cancer should start routine screenings at 45 years old, per the American Cancer Society (ACS).

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of U.S. adults are not getting their colon and rectal cancer screening tests as recommended, reducing the opportunity for early detection. To find out if you qualify for an initial colonoscopy exam, contact the team at Digestive Health Associates of Texas to set up a visit. Our expert gastroenterologists routinely conduct colonoscopy screenings for Dallas, TX patients.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a type of colon and rectal cancer screening that involves a thin, flexible scope containing a mini camera. The scope is inserted through the rectum and then into the colon by a Digestive Health Associates of Texas physician to evaluate for growths (polyps) or other irregularities that may exist. If abnormal tissue is found, it often can be excised through the scope for pathological evaluation. Individuals are given a safe, quick-acting sedative ahead of the screening procedure to help them to undergo the process without any discomfort.

What is recovery like following a colonoscopy procedure?

When your first colonoscopy screening is complete and you awaken from the anesthesia, our Dallas, TX gastrointestinal team will go over any discoveries with you. In the event we do uncover concerns that warrant further assessment, our gastroenterologists will create a detailed treatment program personalized for your medical condition. We strongly suggest that you have someone close to you drive you home following your procedure. After all impacts of the sedative medication have subsided, you should be able to resume your normal daily activities and nutritional consumption within a 24-hour period. At times, patients have a few mild symptoms following a colonoscopy exam, including cramping, bloating, and gassiness for a few days. Should you notice advanced pain, fever, or bleeding, please seek prompt medical assistance.

How often should I schedule colonoscopy exams?

Medical experts recommend that individuals with an average risk of developing colon or rectal cancer begin to undergo screenings when they are 45 years old. Routine colorectal cancer assessment should be received every ten years through 75 years of age. After age 75, every patient should follow the advice of their digestive health specialist regarding the screening options ideal for their personal health needs.

Why should I undergo routine colon and rectal screenings?

While a colonoscopy screening can detect early stages of colorectal cancer, the procedure can also help doctors find possible reasons behind other gastrointestinal concerns, like long-term changes in bowel movements (constipation and/or diarrhea), bleeding and anemia, abdominal/anorectal discomfort, abrupt or unintentional weight loss, and hemorrhoids. The exceptionally experienced GI doctors at Digestive Health Associates of Texas specialize in the latest technology and processes to identify and address a wide variety of digestive diseases.

How can I schedule my first colonoscopy in Dallas, TX?

Regular colorectal cancer screenings are the best process for identifying this serious GI concern. If you are 45 or over with an average risk of colorectal cancer, we advise you to schedule your initial colonoscopy screening at Digestive Health Associates of Texas as soon as possible. For a colonoscopy consultation with a Dallas, TX gastroenterologist near you, please contact our team today.