A colonoscopy is a routine procedure that examines the inside of your large intestine and treats a range of problems, but it’s best known as a way to prevent colon cancer by removing polyps. The doctors at Houston Regional Gastroenterology have extensive experience performing colonoscopies that improve their patients’ health and help ensure they live a long life. To schedule a colonoscopy, call the office in Sugar Land or Humble, Texas, or use the online booking feature.
A colonoscopy is a procedure to diagnose and treat health problems inside your rectum and colon. To perform this procedure, your doctor at Houston Regional Gastroenterology uses a colonoscope, which is a narrow, flexible tube containing lighting and a tiny video camera.
They insert the colonoscope through your rectum and gently guide it through your colon, or large intestine, until it reaches the small intestine, then it’s slowly withdrawn. As the colonoscope travels through the colon, it transmits a magnified view of the intestinal lining to a monitor, allowing your doctor to diagnose and treat problems.
There are two primary reasons why you may have a colonoscopy:
You may need a colonoscopy to diagnose the cause of symptoms such as bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. If they identify a problem, your doctor can take tissue samples and treat blockages, bleeding, or other concerns by inserting tools through the colonoscope.
A screening colonoscopy is a preventive procedure for when you don’t have symptoms or signs of a problem. This type of colonoscopy detects and removes colon polyps before they turn into colon cancer. Of course, your doctor treats any problems they find during a screening colonoscopy, so it can become a diagnostic procedure.
Colon polyps are growths in the intestinal lining. When they first develop, polyps are always benign or noncancerous. Over the years, cells inside a polyp can begin to grow abnormally and turn into cancer.
Colon cancer grows slowly, however, so you can prevent it with a screening colonoscopy that removes the polyps before cancer takes hold.
Most patients should have their first screening colonoscopy at the age of 45. Your doctor at Houston Regional Gastroenterology may recommend earlier screening if you have a high risk for colon cancer.
Your doctor at Houston Regional Gastroenterology can only get a clear view of your intestinal wall if your colon is clean. To ensure the best results, you need to prepare for your colonoscopy by cleansing your colon. You receive instructions to follow, but as a general guideline, this process includes a liquid diet and taking laxatives.
You receive medication, so you’re not awake during the procedure. Most colonoscopies take 30-60 minutes, depending on the number of polyps that need removal. After your procedure, you stay in recovery for a short time before going home.
If you need to schedule a colonoscopy, call Houston Regional Gastroenterology or schedule an appointment online.