Colonoscopy is a procedure which is used to examine the entire colon. Several GastroIntestinal disorders can be effectively diagnosed with this procedure. Diagnosis of colon polyps, colon cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease is easy with colonoscopy. It also helps in the evaluation of any change in bowel habits, abdominal pain. It is used simultaneously for both imaging of abnormal findings as well as removal of these lesions in the same examination and this is the best advantage of this technique. It is mostly used for identification as well as removal of precancerous polyps.
We perform a colonoscopy to detect and remove any early cancer (precancerous polyps) by examining your entire colon.
When should one have a colonoscopy?
If you don’t have any symptoms of colorectal cancer, or if there is no one in your family history who have or had colon cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, then you should have your first colonoscopy at the age of 50 years. As the colon cancer affects a man or a woman equally, all should have their first colonoscopy at 50 years of age.
But, if you are having a family history of precancerous polyps or colon cancer, then you should begin your colonoscopy at 10 years younger than the youngest member of your family who has or had colon cancer. Those who are suffering from ulcerative colitis that involves entire colon and those with Crohn's disease should begin their colon cancer screening after 8 years of initial diagnosis.
Is colonoscopy effective to prevent colon cancer?
As removal of precancerous polyps is possible during colonoscopy, it not only helps to prevent colorectal cancer but also reduces the risk of death due to this disease. In this screening test, examination of entire colon using colonoscope is done to detect cancer at early stage. As we all know, early detection of any disease can help to get successful treatment at an early stage rather than to stay untreated till the last stage.
Although it is an effective way to diagnose and treat polyps, some people don’t go for it. The reason behind this is- their doctor may not have discussed this with them. Some of them are unaware of this procedure while some of them are really unaware that they need screening for colon cancer.
There are some other alternative methods as well such as a flexible sigmoidoscopy and computerized tomography to examine the colon, but none of these alternative procedures are considered more accurate to detect colon cancer and polyp than colonoscopy.
Is colonoscopy painful? Are there any complications from colonoscopy?
Generally, Colonoscopy is not painful at all. You may feel little drowsy but comfortable. Most of the patients do not even remember the procedure as we offer patients the opportunity
for pain-free colonoscopy. We will discuss the best form of sedation with you and will perform the one that suits your need.
Colonoscopy is found to be extremely safe when performed by an experienced and trained physician. We have well trained and experienced team to perform a colonoscopy.