You probably know the basics of a colonoscopy, and the whole concept of this procedure may scare you. However, a colonoscopy procedure is routine and is known to be safe for most people. At Atlantic Gastroenterology Associates, serving Egg Harbor Township, NJ, our doctors, Dr. Barry Kaufman and Dr. Gary Rosman, would like to answer some patients' most frequently asked questions to help people understand what to expect.
What's a Colonoscopy?
This particular test is to get a view of the inside of your colon to look for issues. During the coloscopy, a practitioner will insert a flexible tube known as a colonoscope into the rectum. The end of this device has a small camera that shows the practitioner, in real-time, what the inside of your lower intestine looks like. It helps the doctor assess for inflammation, polyps, and cancer.
How Do You Prepare for a Colonoscopy?
We advise our patients to wear comfortable clothing that they can easily remove on the day of their procedure. One to three days before your procedure, our practitioner will advise you to follow a liquid diet, consisting of no solids. At this point, you'll need to avoid anything with red, purple, or blue dyes.
You'll also need to start a prep, which consists of you taking a laxative that clears out your system. This allows the practitioner to get a better look at the inside of your colon.
Since you'll be given a sedative, you'll need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your procedure.
Are You Given a Sedative?
You'll usually be given a pain medication and mild sedative to take before your procedure. This ensures you're not aware of what's going on and don't feel any pain from the procedure.
Who Needs to Get a Colonoscopy Procedure?
People who are at higher risk of colon cancer should get a colonoscopy at age 45. Based on the results, your doctor will determine how frequently you need to have this test done.
As a general rule, though, anyone who isn't at risk should get a routine colonoscopy starting at age 50. How frequently you need them after that depends on the findings.
At Atlantic Gastroenterology Associates in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, Dr. Kaufman and Dr. Rosman perform routine colonoscopies to check for polyps, cancer, and inflammation. It can be beneficial, especially since an early diagnosis leads to the best prognosis.
Contact our office today for a routine colonoscopy by calling (609) 407-1220.