A colonoscopy is a process where a doctor uses a colonoscope to find cancerous and precancerous growth in colon. Colonoscopy shows ulcers, polyps and investigates the cause of rectal bleeding and abdominal pain. Learn more about the method and what should be done before and after a colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy is a procedure to look inside large intestine to detect possible signs of colon cancer. A long flexible tube with a camera and a source of light is inserted into the rectum, which allows the doctor to view the insides of the entire colon. They investigate the causes of blood found in stool, diarrhea or when an abnormality is found in a colonic X- ray computerized axial tomography (CT) scan. Colonoscopy is also used to prevent or remove abnormal growths, called polyps before they transform into cancer. Usually, colonoscopy allows accurate diagnosis and treatment without the need to go for a major operation. It is estimated in studies that through colonoscopy screening 76 to 90 percent of colon cancer can be prevented.
A colonoscopy is recommended for the following reasons:
Only 5 out of 1,000 people will have a serious complication during colonoscopy. Complications can be treated with antibiotics, blood transfusion, hospitalization, repeat colonoscopy or surgery.
There are low chances of dying from colonoscopy. However, a colonoscopy involves the following complications:
Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer:
Before a colonoscopy, it is important to inform the doctor if you are dependent on some medications, health problems and facing any complications.
After consulting a doctor, the patient may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
On the day of the procedure:
It is important to have a clean colon to increase the success of the procedure. Cleansing methods may include any of the following methods:
When the procedure starts, the patient is asked to lie on the left side with knees drawn up toward the chest. Then the doctor inserts the colonoscope slowly through the rectum and air is blown into the colon. This inflates the colon so the doctor can have a clear view of the lining in the colon and rectum. The colonoscope is gently passed through the colon to view the entire area and one may need to change position slightly to allow better access. If there is any kind of abnormal growth or a polyp is detected in colon, the doctor uses a tool at the end of the colonoscope to remove the polyp or perform a biopsy. This procedure is usually painless, but sometimes bleeding may occur at the site where the tissue is removed. The doctor can stop the bleeding by using the colonoscope. It takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete the entire process.
After the procedure is complete, patient needs to stay at the center for at least two hours for the effects of the sedative to wear off. A friend or family member can drive them home. After the colon examination, doctors may work out on how far it has spread. Tissue taken at the time of colonoscopy may be used for testing genetic changes in the cancer cells. This, in turn, can influence the choice of treatment.
After a colonoscopy, most people do not have bowel cancer. However, it is important to monitor recovery. Call the doctor if any of the following symptoms occur:
It can be concluded that colonoscopy is a primary test that is used to analyze and diagnose the cancer of bowel. Different tests used to analyze gut malignancy incorporate virtual colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Also, it is an established fact that colonoscopy is a useful process and less time consuming.
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