A colonoscopy is a common procedure that’s extremely helpful in detecting and diagnosing a variety of gastrointestinal disorders at early stages, including colon cancer. Gastroenterologists Michael Flicker, MD, and Carl Atallah, DO, offer colonoscopies at Advanced GI LLC in the Lake View area of Chicago, Illinois. To learn more about colonoscopy, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Colonoscopy is a procedure in which your provider at Advanced GI LLC uses a specialized instrument called a colonoscope to examine your rectum and colon.
A colonoscope is a long, flexible tube with a tiny video camera at the tip. The camera allows your doctor to check your entire colon for polyps, ulcers, irritated or swollen tissue, and other abnormalities.
If you’re over age 50, the team at Advanced GI LLC recommends getting a colonoscopy at least once every 10 years to screen for colon cancer. They may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings if you have a higher risk of developing colon cancer.
Risk factors for colon cancer include:
Colonoscopies can also help the team determine the cause of various symptoms, such as anal bleeding, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss.
If Advanced GI LLC recommends a colonoscopy, your provider explains what you need to do to prepare for the procedure. You’ll need to empty your colon before the colonoscopy, which may include:
Before the procedure, the team administers sedatives, anesthesia, or pain medicine to reduce your discomfort. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure, as the drugs that decrease discomfort will make it unsafe to drive.
During the colonoscopy, you’ll lie on a table while your doctor inserts the thin colonoscope into your anus, rectum, and colon. They may gently inflate your colon with air from the scope to get a better view.
If your doctor finds polyps in your colon, they may remove them for laboratory testing. They may also take a biopsy of any abnormal tissue.
After the procedure, you may experience slight cramping or bloating in your abdomen. But you should be fully recovered and able to resume your regular diet by the next day. The team at Advanced GI LLC provides information on how to take care of yourself after a colonoscopy.
If you think you may need a colonoscopy, call Advanced GI LLC or book an appointment online today.