A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure used to assess the health of your colon. A colonoscope with a light and small camera on the end is inserted into the rectum, allowing your GI doctor to view the inside of your colon or large intestine.
A colonoscopy is most often used to detect early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It allows our Charleston GI physicians to look inside the entire large intestine for things such as:
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death for American men and women, but increased awareness and screening have caused a decline in the death rate. According to the American Cancer Center, when colorectal cancer is found early (before spreading), the five-year relative survival rate is around 90%.
This is further proof that screenings save lives. If you are over 45 years old or have a family history of colon cancer, call today to schedule your colonoscopy procedure!
Your Charleston GI colonoscopy can also be beneficial in diagnosing unexplained symptoms, including:
An empty stomach allows for the best examination, so specific instructions will be provided to you prior to your visit. Your doctor will also prescribe a bowel prep kit, which is very important in the success of the procedure.
Please be sure to follow the instructions provided! These helpful hints may be included to help you prep for your colonoscopy:
The entire colonoscopy procedure, from the time you arrive until the moment you leave, should take 2 to 2.5 hours. Even though the visit is a short one, you should be prepared to take the day off from work – mainly because it can take up to a full day for the effects of the sedative and pain medication to wear off.
This medicine is administered before starting the procedure to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. If anything unusual is found during your colonoscopy, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, the physician can remove a piece of it using instruments inserted into the scope. The removed polyp is then sent to the lab for testing.
The procedure itself usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Most people don’t even remember experiencing the procedure at all!
Upon completion, we will roll you into a recovery area. After you are completely awake, the nurse will help you get dressed and the doctor will come out to speak to you and your driver. A report of your procedure will be sent to your primary care physician by your Charleston GI doctor.
*Note: Since you will be under sedation during the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home.
You may feel some cramping or the sensation of having gas after the procedure, but these symptoms usually subside within an hour. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided. Again, even though the visit should take only about two hours, you need to be prepared to take the day off from work, due to the lingering effects of the medication.
Charleston GI’s open access colonoscopy programs allows patients to easily schedule an appointment – no referral needed. By minimizing the hassle and cost, our goal at Charleston GI is to make colon cancer prevention a priority!
Get in touch today to learn more or to schedule your appointment!