Colonoscopy Procedure in Mooresville, NC
What Is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a viewing tool called a colonoscope to see inside the rectum and large intestine (colon). It is often part of routine screening which begins at the age of 50 and is completed every 10 years. A colonoscopy procedure can find and monitor changes or abnormalities in your colon and is an invaluable tool to help identify early signs of cancer in the rectum or colon.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Mooresville who specializes in colonoscopies, call (704) 658-0286 or contact Stephen Cruikshank online.
Why Have a Colonoscopy?
There are two types of colonoscopies: diagnostic and screening.
Individuals who experience the following symptoms may benefit from a diagnostic colonoscopy:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in bowel movement
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Signs of bleeding or inflammation in the rectum or colon
A diagnostic colonoscopy can also be used to check for the presence of colon polyps or cancer if you or a family member have a history of polyps. Polyps are small clumps of cells that form on the lining of the colon. Although usually harmless, they can be signs of various diseases; over time, polyps can develop into colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy can also help diagnose inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
A screening colonoscopy refers to a colonoscopy in which you have no gastrointestinal symptoms and do not have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer.
How to Prepare for A Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy cleanse is necessary before the procedure, as your colon must be empty to give your practitioner a clear view of your intestinal walls. Your practitioner will give you detailed instructions on how to carry out the cleanse prior to your procedure. These instructions may include a colonoscopy prep diet which requires fasting several hours before the exam and taking laxatives.
If you take prescription medications, your healthcare provider may request that you lower your doses or cease taking them before the colonoscopy, especially medications that affect blood clotting. You may also need to take antibiotics before the colonoscopy if you have an artificial heart valve or have ever taken antibiotics before a dental or surgical procedure.
Make sure that your doctor is aware of any conditions that you may have, including:
- Lung conditions
- Heart conditions
- Allergies to medicine
How Is a Colonoscopy Done?
The actual colonoscopy procedure will take about 30 minutes to an hour. During the procedure, your healthcare provider will place an intravenous (IV) needle into a vein in your arm or hand and administer a sedative, anesthesia, or pain medicine. This will make you feel relaxed and comfortable during the procedure.
Your colonoscopy specialist will position you on your side with your knees to your chest and insert a long tube called a colonoscope through your anus and into your rectum and colon. The scope will have a camera attached to the end of it, allowing your practitioner to view your large intestine on a monitor screen. Carbon dioxide will be pumped through the scope to enlarge your colon to provide a better view for examination.
Tissue samples from the colon may be taken for further study (biopsy) and abnormal growths such as polyps may be removed.
Once the colonoscopy is concluded, you will remain in the recovery room for about 30 minutes to two hours for observation. You may feel mild cramping in the hours that follow your procedure.
During discharge, you will be given a set of instructions by your provider; read through them carefully. You will need someone to drive you home as the sedation makes it unsafe to drive, operate heavy machinery, or make legal decisions for a minimum of 8 hours following your procedure. A full colonoscopy recovery takes roughly 24 hours. To restore your energy, drink plenty of liquids and eat a healthy meal.
Though side effects are rare, you may experience:
- Fever, dizziness, chills or weakness
- Severe pain in your abdomen
- Bloody bowel movements or bleeding from the anus that does not stop
Complications can also arise from a reaction to the sedative or a tear in the rectal wall or colon. If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
If no abnormalities are found in your colon, and you have no family history of polyps or cancer, you may not require another colonoscopy for 10 years.
Abnormalities that can be found during a colonoscopy include:
- Areas of bleeding
- Colitis, the swelling and inflammation of the intestine
- Diverticulosis, abnormal pouches in the lining of the intestines
These abnormalities may indicate the presence of a condition such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease and require more frequent colonoscopies to monitor them. For example, the presence of small polyps less than 1 cm in diameter may require another colonoscopy in five years, while larger polyps may require another exam in three years. If you have signs of cancerous polyps, a colonoscopy may be needed in as little as three months.
A colonoscopy surgery is an important first step to discover life-threatening cancers and other diseases. To schedule a colonoscopy with a healthcare practitioner in Mooresville, call (704) 658-0286 or contact Stephen Cruikshank online.
Integrative and Functional Medicine
Address122 Gateway Blvd
Mooresville, NC 28117
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