Are you aware that the five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is 90% if the condition is caught and treated early in its progression? When used in diagnosing colorectal cancer and other colorectal conditions, colonoscopy has a distinction among gastrointestinal specialists as the most effective, dependable examination.
The professionals at Austin Gastroenterology routinely perform colonoscopy screenings for patients throughout our community. Read on as our Austin, TX gastroenterology team outlines the vital role colonoscopies carry out in preserving digestive health and wellness.
Who should get a colonoscopy screening?
Routine colonoscopies are recommended for patients 45 years of age or older. Younger individuals might be advised to get a colon cancer screening if any of the following criteria apply:
- You have signs or symptoms that could indicate colon or rectal cancer, including:
- Blood in your stool
- Abdominal pain
- Unintentional weight loss
- You have a type of inflammatory bowel disease (like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
- Your family health includes colorectal polyps or cancer
It’s important to know that the symptoms outlined here are also representative of other digestive health diseases, which is why it’s imperative to arrange for a colonoscopy procedure to assess your gastrointestinal health and symptoms. Reach our to Austin Gastroenterology for further information about other disorders that could be detected during a colonoscopy procedure.
How long does it take for a colonoscopy?
For most individuals, the colonoscopy usually lasts a few hours, from preparation to recovery. Please plan to arrive at your colonoscopy doctor’s facility or endoscopy center in Austin, TX 60-90 minutes before your scheduled exam. This will allow you extra time to take care of any required forms and change into a hospital gown. When you are ready, you’ll be shown into the exam room, where the team will administer sedation to make you feel more relaxed and at ease during the colonoscopy.
In most scenarios, a routine colonoscopy exam lasts 15-30 minutes. Your physician will carefully position the colonoscope (a flexible, probe-mounted video camera) into the rectum, slowly moving it into the colon and monitoring the live video for concerns. In the event colorectal polyps are detected during the exam, your gastrointestinal specialist may remove them during the exam.
Following the exam, you will be given time to relax in a recovery area to allow the sedative effects to diminish. This could take up to 60 minutes or so, depending on the amount of sedation required and how your body reacts to it. You could feel groggy for the rest of the day, making it important to have a reliable ride home. You should also avoid strenuous activity or signing essential papers as you recover. You will be given a printed report detailing you procedure results and can expect to be contacted by your GI doctor regarding any biopsy results usually with about a week.
Routine colonoscopies really are a small investment in time for the diagnostic benefits they provide. For additional information regarding what to expect when undergoing a colonoscopy screening, get in touch with an Austin Gastroenterology location nearest you to connect with a specialist who offers colonoscopies in Austin, TX.
Does a colonoscopy carry any risks I should consider?
There is a small possibility that some symptoms or issues (including polyps) might not be immediately evident in your colonoscopy procedure. It’s vital to contact your gastrointestinal specialist and tell them of any ongoing or new concerns.
Further possible risks accompanying a colonoscopy procedure involve puncturing of the large intestine, unfavorable reaction to the sedative medication, or internal bleeding (if any growths are removed). Keep in mind, however, that less than 1% of colonoscopies carry complications, most of which are not severe. If you have concerns or questions regarding the potential risks involved with a colonoscopy, our team at Austin Gastroenterology will be happy to go over those with you.
Visit a skilled colonoscopy doctor in Austin, TX
Given that colon and rectal cancer rates are increasing in the younger adult population, the significance of having a colonoscopy to preserve your GI health cannot be overstated. If you are at least 45 years old or have a greater risk of colorectal cancer, reach out to the GI specialists at Austin Gastroenterology to request a consultation for colonoscopy services. Take the initiative with your health and contact our Austin, TX practice today.