A colonoscopy is a safe, effective means of visually examining the full lining of the colon and rectum using a long, flexible, tubular instrument. It is used to diagnose colon and rectum problems and to perform biopsies and remove colon polyps. Most colonoscopies are performed on an outpatient basis.
The benefits of colonoscopy include its ability to detect and remove most polyps without abdominal surgery. It is more accurate than a X-ray of the colon to detect polyps or early cancer. Often, polyps can be removed at the same time, which is a major step towards the prevention of colon cancer.
A colonoscopy is recommended if a patient has a change in bowel habit or bleeding, which may indicate a possible problem in the colon or rectum. It is also necessary to:
- Check unexplained abdominal symptoms
- Check inflammatory bowel disease (colitis)
- Verify findings of polyps or tumors located with a barium enema exam
- Examine patients who test positive for blood in the stool
- Monitor patients with a past history of colon polyps or cancer or those over age 40
Your doctor may recommend that you undergo your first routine colonoscopy at age 45, but it may be sooner depending on your risk factors. How frequently you will need a preventive colonoscopy also depends on your history, family history, and other risk factors. Speak with your doctor about when and how often you’ll need to undergo a colonoscopy.
Why Choose UHealth?
A broad array of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Regardless of your age, condition, or whether you need long- or short-term digestive treatments, you will receive the most accurate diagnosis and most effective treatment to keep your stomach, digestive system, and organs healthy.
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