Find out everything you could ever need to know about this preventive and diagnostic procedure.
No matter whether you are dealing with unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms or you just reached the age of 50, there are many reasons why our New York, NY, gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert will recommend getting a colonoscopy. Of course, we know you might have questions, and we are here to address some of the most popular questions out there regarding this GI procedure.
Q. What is a colonoscopy?
A. A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows our New York GI doctor to examine the colon and rectum to not only screen for colorectal cancer but also to provide a diagnosis for certain gastrointestinal symptoms you may be experiencing.
Through the use of a thin tube, which is inserted into the rectum and carefully guided through the lower GI tract, we are able to capture real-time images to inspect the overall health of the colon.
Q. Why is a colonoscopy recommended?
A. Once you turn 50 years old it’s highly recommended that everyone get a colonoscopy regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms or not. A colonoscopy is truly the best tool for being able to detect colorectal cancer.
Of course, a colonoscopy isn’t just a screening tool. It can also be used as a diagnostic measure to determine the cause of unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal pain or sudden weight loss.
Q. What does a colonoscopy procedure entail?
A. Before a colonoscopy, Dr. Alpert will provide you with a solution or pill that you will need to take about 24 hours before your procedure to help fully clear the bowels. This is a necessary step before getting a colonoscopy.
During the colonoscopy, an IV is started and sedation and pain medication will be administered through the IV. While the medication is not designed to put you to sleep you may feel drowsy or not remember the procedure at all. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to perform (it may take longer if we need to remove polyps) and you’ll be able to go home right after the procedure.
Q. How often should I get a routine colonoscopy?
A. If your test results come back normal you may not need to get a colonoscopy for another 10 years. Of course, if you have risk factors or you’ve had polyps in the past then you may need to come in every five years.
If you still have questions about getting a colonoscopy in New York, NY, or if you are dealing with GI distress, then it’s time to call Dr. Alpert today to get the care you need for a happy, healthy gut.