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Benefits of a Colonoscopy Procedure

The Benefits of a Colonoscopy

Written by: Amy Jade

Everyone’s heard of the saying, “It’s easier said than done”. Well, this appears to be applicable to the daunting task of undergoing a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is when the colon undergoes an imaging test to determine if there are polyps, a small cluster of cells in the lining of the colon or rectum, and other abnormalities that have the potential to lead to cancer. 

Colonoscopies can be difficult to talk about because of the stigma associated with that part of the body and what the procedure entails. Many find it embarrassing, uncomfortable, or fear pain. But, by talking about colonoscopies and discussing the positive benefits of one, lives can be saved. The good news is that colon cancer develops slowly and in a predictable way. Precancerous polyps usually take 10 years to fully develop, which is why colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years. If detected early, polyps can be removed completely before the cancer has a chance to develop.

Health professionals emphasize the importance of undergoing a colonoscopy to detect early colorectal cancer (CRC), the third leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States.

 If you are an individual approaching the age of 50, a health professional has likely recommended you schedule a colonoscopy. 

  • Preparation 
  • What to expect 

To prepare for a colonoscopy procedure, the entire bowel has to be cleansed in order for the most accurate results and prevent re-testing. Many individuals find this part to be the hardest in the entire colonoscopy procedure. Solid foods should be avoided a day or two before and patients should start taking laxative pills. Be sure those laptops are charged when you’re confined to the bathroom and can finally binge watch episodes of your favorite show.

During a colonoscopy procedure, the individual will feel no pain as they are completely sedated through an IV. The whole process is painless and you won’t feel a thing. A GI specialist looks to the end of the large intestine and back for anything abnormal. The process takes about 20 minutes to an hour. If you are healthy enough and have no bowel problems, the procedure should be over quickly and easy. When the colonoscopy is complete, the patient is taken into the recovery area while the sedation wears off and the results of the colonoscopy are discussed to the patient.