When To Get a Colonoscopy
posted: Nov. 05, 2020.
A colonoscopy provides valuable information about your gastrointestinal health and may help you reduce your risk of developing colon cancer. Colonoscopies are just one of the procedures and treatments your Bourbonnais and New Lenox, IL, gastroenterologists at Digestive Diseases Consultants offer.
Who should get a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies allow your gastroenterologist to view the lining of your lower digestive system without surgery. During the procedure, a thin, lighted probe is inserted into your anus then slowly passed through your large intestine (colon) and the lower part of your small intestine.
A miniaturized camera at the end of the probe sends images to a digital monitor. The process allows your gastroenterologist to view abnormalities in the lining, take tissue samples of suspicious areas, or even stop bleeding.
You'll receive a sedative before the colonoscopy and probably won't remember anything that happens. As you enjoy a small snack after the procedure, your doctor will discuss what he saw during the test. You'll receive the results of biopsies during your follow-up appointment.
During a visit to the Bourbonnais or New Lenox gastroenterology office, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy if:
- You Recently Turned 45: Colon cancer is more common as you get older. Unfortunately, cancer doesn't usually cause any changes to your health during its earliest stages. By the time you begin to experience problems, colon cancer may be quite advanced. During a colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist can remove pre-cancerous polyps, helping you avoid cancer. If you do have cancer, early diagnosis may improve the outcome of treatment.
- You've Been Having Some Digestive Issues: A colonoscopy can help your gastroenterologist determine why you have chronic diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, anemia, unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding, changes in bowel movements and other symptoms.
- You've Had Cancer, Polyps or Have a Digestive Disease or Condition: Although you won't need to schedule another colonoscopy for 10 years if your first test was normal, your gastroenterologist may recommend more frequent procedures if you've been diagnosed with colon cancer in the past or had polyps before. Colonoscopies may also be needed more often if you have Crohn's disease or another disease or condition.
Have you been wondering if you need a colonoscopy? Call Digestive Disease Consultants in Bourbonnais and New Lenox, IL, at (815) 937-5200 to schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists.