Every year, colonoscopies save millions of lives by detecting signs of colon cancer early on, when treatment is most effective. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Oak Lawn, Oakbrook Terrace, and Palos Heights, Illinois, the expert gastroenterologists offer convenient colonoscopies to men and women alike. To learn more about the benefits of colonoscopy screening, make an appointment by calling or requesting an appointment online today.
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic screening procedure used to detect cancerous polyps or abnormal growths in your large intestine. Your doctor might also recommend a colonoscopy if you’re experiencing symptoms like severe abdominal pain, bloody stools, or diarrhea.
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that typically takes between 30-60 minutes.
Prior to treatment, your Illinois Gastroenterology Group provider administers a general anesthetic to help you feel relaxed and drowsy. Once you’re comfortable, your provider asks you to lie on your left side.
Next, your provider carefully inserts a colonoscope -- a long, skinny tube with a small camera on the end -- into your rectum. The colonoscope transmits an image of the lining of your colon to a digital monitor, allowing your provider to detect abnormalities.
A colonoscope is flexible, allowing your provider to see all of the areas in your large intestine. You might experience some mild discomfort or slight cramping during the procedure, but this is perfectly normal; taking a few deep breaths should help ease your symptoms.
If necessary, your doctor can also take a small tissue sample from a polyp or growth for biopsy.
Prior to having a colonoscopy, it’s important to share your medical history with your Illinois Gastroenterology Group provider. You should also alert them to any allergies you have and inform them of any prescription medications, vitamins, or nutritional supplements you’re taking.
Your doctor might ask you to limit your intake of food or fluids prior to your appointment. They will also prescribe a liquid laxative, like magnesium citrate, for the night prior to your procedure. The drink isn’t very appetizing, but it clears out your bowels, so it’s important to follow your provider’s prep instructions closely. In addition, make sure to have a friend or family member who can drive you home after your procedure. A colonoscopy requires sedation, so you’ll be too groggy to operate a car.
The team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group recommends that people with an average risk of colon cancer start investing in colonoscopy screenings at age 50.
If you have a family history of colon cancer or you’ve been diagnosed with digestive ailments such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome, you might want to start testing even earlier.
Following an exam and review of your medical history, your provider can make recommendations for your situation.
Colon cancer prevention starts with a colonoscopy. Make your appointment at Illinois Gastroenterology Group by calling or using the online booking tool today.