A colonoscopy is a screening exam to evaluate the large intestine or colon. This screening is standard for people older than 50 and for anyone with a history of colon cancer. The gastroenterologists at Digestive Disease Specialists with offices in Moline, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa, provide expert colonoscopies to diagnose cancer or other colon problems. If you’re due for the exam, call today or use this website to arrange your visit online.
To perform a colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist uses a colonoscope. A colonoscope is a narrow, flexible tube containing light and a tiny video camera.
You’re sedated before they insert the colonoscope through your rectum and gently guide it through your colon until it reaches the small intestine. The colonoscope transmits a magnified view of your intestinal lining that your doctor can use to evaluate your colon health and diagnose any possible problems.
The entire process takes about 30 minutes. You rest in recovery after the procedure until you’re cleared to go home. You will need a ride as the sedation makes driving dangerous.
A colonoscopy can be used to diagnose unusual symptoms or for preventive screening:
If you have symptoms such as blood in your stool, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain, your Digestive Disease Specialists provider might recommend a colonoscopy to help understand the reason. They can take tissue samples during the colonoscopy and treat blockages through the colonoscope.
A screening colonoscopy is a routine, preventive procedure done even when you don’t have any symptoms of colon cancer. A screening colonoscopy can identify and treat polyps before they turn cancerous. Your doctor may also detect early signs of cancer in this screening when the disease is most treatable.
A person with an average risk of colorectal cancer should get their first screening colonoscopy by 45 or 50. If you have a personal history of colon cancer or polyps, a family history of the disease, or other risk factors, your provider may suggest having a colonoscopy sooner.
You need a clean colon for your doctor to get a clear picture of your intestinal wall. Before your appointment, the staff gives you instructions about following a clear liquid diet for a day or two and taking a special laxative provided by the practice.
If you’re due for a colonoscopy, schedule today by calling Digestive Disease Specialists. You can also book an appointment online.