Perhaps you have a vague understanding of what a colonoscopy is and what it entails, but how do you know whether it would be beneficial for someone of your age group and lifestyle to have one done? Find the answers to all your questions in the sections below, and look for a Melbourne colonoscopy online.
What is a colonoscopy and what does it involve?
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. The colonoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it. It is inserted through the rectum into the colon. The camera allows your doctor to look for abnormal growths, ulcers, or bleeding.
Who should get a colonoscopy and why are they necessary for some people?
Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy if you have symptoms such as blood in your stool, abdominal pain, or changes in bowel habits. You may also need a colonoscopy if you have had an abnormal screening test result, such as a positive stool sample for blood or an abnormal X-ray.
How often should you have a colonoscopy and what are the risks associated with them?
Most people should have a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at the age of 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors, you may need to have a colonoscopy more often. There is a small risk of bleeding and puncture of the colon during colonoscopy. However, these risks are generally outweighed by the benefits of early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer.
How do you prepare for a colonoscopy and what should you expect during and after the procedure is completed?
The best way to prepare for a colonoscopy is to follow your doctor’s instructions on how to cleanse your bowel before the procedure. This usually involves drinking a special solution and following a low-fibre diet for several days before the procedure. During the procedure, you will be given sedation to help you relax. You will likely feel some pressure in your abdomen and may have some cramping.
After the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. You should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. You may have some mild cramping and bloating. These symptoms should resolve within a day or two. If you had a biopsy or polyp removal during your colonoscopy, you may have some bleeding from your rectum that lasts for a few days. Contact your doctor if you have persistent abdominal pain, fever, or rectal bleeding lasting more than a few days.
Are you overdue for a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an important tool in the prevention of colorectal cancer. It is safe, relatively comfortable, and only takes a short time to complete. If you are 50 years of age or older, talk to your doctor about whether a colonoscopy is right for you.