If you’ve been told you need a colonoscopy, don’t panic — the procedure is easy and, in most cases, you don’t remember any of it due to a mild sedative. At Hawaii Gastroenterology Specialists, the practice recommends colonoscopies to patients for a variety of reasons, most importantly for cancer detection and prevention. This screening tool saves lives and prevents the development of colorectal cancers. If you live in or near Honolulu or Aiea, Hawaii, and are in need of a colonoscopy, it’s time to schedule an appointment with the board-certified specialists. Call the office or use the online booking tool today.
Your gastroenterologist uses a colonoscopy to identify changes or abnormal growths in your colon (upper part of your large intestine) or your rectum (lower part of your large intestine).
Your doctor inserts a tiny camera on the end of a long flexible tube called a colonoscope into your rectum where the image is then displayed onto a video screen. In some cases, your doctor takes a biopsy or removes polyps or abnormal tissue growths during your colonoscopy.
Your doctor can recommend a colonoscopy for a variety of reasons. If you have unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or chronic constipation or diarrhea, a colonoscopy allows them to investigate the source of your discomfort.
For those over 50, your doctor may recommend colonoscopy as part of your regular preventive screenings. It’s often recommended to repeat the test every 10 years until age 75.
You may also need a colonoscopy if you have a history of polyps. A follow-up scope procedure allows your doctor to look for new growths and remove any remaining polyps.
When you have a colonoscopy, you’re given a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure.
Your doctor asks you to lay on your side and draw your knees to your chest. They then insert the scope into your rectum. Your doctor may pump air or carbon dioxide into your colon to inflate it and allow a clearer image.
If necessary, your doctor may insert instruments to take a biopsy or remove polyps. In most cases, the procedure takes 30-60 minutes. Due to the sedation, you need someone to drive you home.
When you have a colonoscopy, your large intestine needs to be empty. To accomplish this, your gastroenterologist gives you a special diet to follow in the days leading up to your procedure. In most cases, avoid solid food the day before the exam and consume only clear liquids. They may also request that you avoid red liquids. After midnight you don’t eat or drink.
Your doctor may also give you a laxative. They may instruct you to take it the night before or the morning of your procedure.
Colonoscopies save lives, don’t put yours off. Call Hawaii Gastroenterology Specialists today to schedule your appointment or go online to book.