Here Is Why It Is So Important to Get a Colonoscopy
Are you aware that the five-year survival rate for those with colon or rectal cancer is 90% when the disease is caught and treated early on in its development? When used in identifying colon cancer and additional colorectal disorders, colonoscopy has earned a reputation among gastroenterology professionals as the most effective, dependable examination.
The professionals at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC routinely conduct colonoscopy exams for individuals throughout the community. Read on as our Hattiesburg, MS digestive health team explains the imperative role colonoscopies play in safeguarding your gastrointestinal health.
Who should have a colonoscopy?
Regular colonoscopies are advised for individuals aged 45 and older. Younger individuals may be advised to undergo a screening for cancer should one or more of the following criteria apply:
- Your family history includes colon cancer or polyps
- You have symptoms that could indicate colorectal cancer, such as:
Note that the symptoms listed here are also observed with other digestive diseases, which is why it's vital to receive a colonoscopy screening to evaluate your gastrointestinal health and symptoms. Get in touch with Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to hear more surrounding other disorders that could be identified during a colonoscopy screening.
How long is a colonoscopy?
Overall, the colonoscopy process usually lasts a couple of hours, from preparation to recovery. Please plan to be at your colonoscopy doctor's facility or endoscopy center in Hattiesburg, MS 60 – 90 minutes before your scheduled exam. This will give you extra time to take care of any required forms and put on a hospital gown. Afterward, you'll be shown into the exam room, where the medical staff will start administering a sedative to make you feel more relaxed and at ease throughout the colonoscopy.
In most scenarios, a colonoscopy procedure can take 15 – 30 minutes. Your specialist will gently position the colonoscope (a flexible, probe-attached camera) into the rectum, gradually advancing it forward and monitoring the video feed for abnormalities. If colorectal polyps (growths) are detected, your gastroenterologist may remove them during the exam.
After the procedure, you will be given time to relax in a recovery area to allow the sedative effects to diminish. This could take up to an hour, depending on the amount of sedation used and your reaction to it. You may still feel lethargic for the remainder of the day, so plan to have a friend or family member drive you home. It's also best to avoid strenuous activity or filling out any essential documents as you recover. You will be sent home with a printed report outlining your procedure results and will likely hear from your GI doctor about any biopsy results generally within about a week.
Colonoscopy exams are a small time investment for the diagnostic benefits and peace of mind they carry. To learn more about what you can expect when having a colonoscopy, please reach out to a Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC location within your community to connect with a board-certified doctor who performs colonoscopies in Hattiesburg, MS.
Does a colonoscopy carry any risks I should be aware of?
There is a small chance that some symptoms or concerns (including colorectal polyps) might not be readily apparent during your colonoscopy procedure. It's vital to contact your gastroenterologist and keep them informed of any new or ongoing issues.
Further possible risks affiliated with a colonoscopy involve perforation of the colon, unfavorable response to the sedative medication, or bleeding (in the event any growths are excised). Keep in mind, however, that fewer than 1% of colonoscopies result in complications, most of which are not severe. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the risks involved with a colonoscopy, our Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC team will be glad to review those with you.
Find a skilled colonoscopy doctor in Hattiesburg, MS
Since colon and rectal cancer rates are increasing among the younger adult population, the value of scheduling a colonoscopy to protect your digestive health cannot be overstated. If you are 45 or older or have an elevated risk of developing colorectal cancer, reach out to the GI doctors at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to learn more about colonoscopy services. Take the initiative with your digestive health and reach out to our Hattiesburg, MS practice today.