A colonoscopy may be one of the most dreaded medical tests anyone has to undergo, but they are necessary to identify abnormalities in the rectum and colon. Sadly, more than 100,000 people are expected to receive a colon cancer diagnosis in 2020. Both men and women have a 4% lifetime chance of getting the illness. Sadly, it’s the third leading cancer-related cause of death.
That’s why the team of surgeons at Desert West Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada, are such strong advocates of regular colonoscopies. Not only does the comprehensive screening find cancer if it exists, but it also helps prevent it before it fully develops.
Since the new year is a clean slate and fresh start, our team encourages you to start the new year right with a colonoscopy. It’s a lot easier than you might think. Here’s why.
The worst part is the prep
The day before your colonoscopy, your doctor will ask you to refrain from eating solid foods and to drink clear liquids only. Add to that a gallon of prescribed liquid laxative, which requires you to be close to the bathroom for frequent bowel movements until your digestive tract is clear. While the prep is a hassle and keeps you home for the day, it doesn’t hurt and is seen by many as the worst part of the whole process.
On the day of the colonoscopy, you’ll be fully sedated while the doctor guides a flexible scope through your anus and into your colon. If polyps are discovered during your exam, your doctor removes them right then. Don’t worry; your anesthesiologist will make sure you don’t feel a thing!
After your test, which takes no more than an hour, your doctor provides a report, and you can go home and rest while the anesthesia wears off. The exam’s side effects are minimal and include possible cramping or bloating, but they subside quickly, and you’ll be back to normal by the next day.
Other purposes for a colonoscopy
In addition to screening for cancer, a colonoscopy is also useful for discovering the cause of other gastrointestinal problems, such as rectal bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal pain, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, rectal prolapse, and chronic constipation.
If you need to have damaged or diseased portions of your colon removed, our skilled surgeons use minimally invasive surgical procedures to expedite your healing.
For more information about colonoscopies and colon surgery, call the location closest to you, or book your appointment online.