A colonoscopy is a medical exam designed to look for abnormalities, problems or changes in the colon and rectum. If you do not have any intestinal issues, then it is recommended that you get your first colonoscopy shortly after your 50th birthday. If you have an average risk of colon cancer, then you will have to get a colonoscopy every 10 years. This schedule will be altered if you are having intestinal problems that may be caused by colon cancer.
You will have to specially prepare your body the day before undergoing a colonoscopy. The goal of this preparation is to clean out your colon so the doctor can get a good view of your intestines. You will have to avoid eating solid foods the day before your exam. You will also only be able to drink clear liquids because dark liquids can be confused for blood during the exam. A large amount of laxatives must also be taken the day before your colonoscopy. The laxatives will help to clean out the colon.
During the procedure, a special scope will be used to illuminate and inflate the colon to give the doctor a great look at the lining of your intestines. The doctor will be able to see inside your colon on an external monitor in the exam room. Biopsies will only be taken if there are polyps or abnormal tissues in your colon.
The entire colonoscopy will take approximately one hour to complete. You will need a friend or family member present to drive you home after the exam. Frequent flatulating and bloating are the most common side effects associated with a colonoscopy. These minor side effects should be gone the day after your exam. It is also extremely common to see blood in your first bowel movement.
Negative results from the exam means that no problems were found. If there were any polyps biopsied, then it may take up to three weeks to get the results. A medical professional will make sure to tell you the biopsy results as soon as they arrive. You may be scared to hear that you had polyps in your colon, but they are usually harmless. If you are getting regularly scheduled colonoscopies, then you should have nothing to worry about.
Preventive medicine is extremely important, and at South Lake OB/GYN in Clermont, we want to help you catch any problems as early as possible so that they can be effectively treated. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about preventive medicine.