If You’re Over 50, It’s Time for a Colonoscopy
- Posted on: Sep 15 2018
People put off doing certain things — cleaning out the garage, repainting the living room, washing the windows…and getting a colonoscopy. But a colonoscopy is probably the best single option for catching colorectal cancer before it becomes deadly.
We perform colonoscopies at Ogden Clinic GI at McKay.
Why colonoscopies are important
Your regular doctor could recommend a colonoscopy for these reasons:
- Investigate intestinal signs and symptoms— A colonoscopy can help diagnose possible causes of abdominal pain, chronic constipation or diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and other intestinal problems.
- Screen for colon cancer— If you just had your 50th birthday your doctor will likely recommend a colonoscopy. If you don’t have any risk factors and the test comes back clean, in most cases your next colonoscopy will be in 10 years.
- Look for more polyps— If polyps showed up in your last colonoscopy, your doctor may recommend a follow-up colonoscopy to look for and remove any additional polyps. This reduces your risk of developing colon cancer.
How is a colonoscopy done?
The most involved part of your colonoscopy is preparing the day before. You’ll drink a bowel-cleansing solution to clear your colon. You’ll also be on a clear liquid diet. This is the day to be around the house, binging on Netflix.
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure at our offices. We begin by giving you a light sedative through an intravenous line. You will then be positioned lying down on your side. The colonoscope, which is long enough to reach the entire length of your colon, contains a light and a tube (channel) that allows our doctors to pump air into your color. This inflation provides a better view of the lining of the colon. The colonoscope is gently inserted into the anus and is carefully moved into the lower portion of the large intestine and guided upward toward the lowest portion of the small intestine.
Now, the scope is slowly withdrawn, with the doctor watching on the video monitor, examining the lining of the colon. If necessary, polyps, or growths, may be taken to be biopsied. The entire procedure takes from 20-40 minutes and you’re done.
Afterwards, you’ll be groggy from the sedative, so you’ll need to have someone drive you home from the procedure.
Colon cancer is deadly serious. Don’t put off your colonoscopy if you’re over 50 or if you have a family history of colon cancer. Call the team at Ogden Clinic GI at McKay, 801.475.3680, to schedule your colonoscopy.
Posted in: Colonoscopy