A colonoscopy is an invaluable diagnostic tool for severe gastrointestinal disorders like colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). At Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants in Santa Ana and Irvine, California, the highly skilled doctors have extensive experience performing colonoscopies. They save many lives yearly with their colon cancer screening program and expert removal of colorectal polyps. Call Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today or book an appointment online to learn how you can benefit from a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is used at Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants to examine your rectum and colon (large bowel).
The colonoscope your doctor uses is a long, flexible tube fitted with a small camera. Your doctor inserts the colonoscope into your rectum, passing it carefully along to where the colon ends and joins with the small intestine.
Viewing images from the colonoscope’s camera on a screen allows your doctor to find any abnormalities in the bowel tissues. In some cases, they can treat these problems at the same time.
Your Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants doctor will recommend a colonoscopy for several reasons:
Using a colonoscopy, your doctor can diagnose symptoms of large bowel disease, including:
These symptoms can indicate severe conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) or colorectal cancer.
Some people have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. They benefit from screening colonoscopies to identify early signs of cancer when the condition is far more treatable. You might require a screening colonoscopy if you have IBD, certain genetic conditions like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), or a personal or family history of colorectal cancer.
During a colonoscopy, your doctor can stretch narrowed areas of the colon and treat lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. They can also remove polyps — small growths that are harmless at first but can mutate into cancer.
It’s vital to prepare properly for your colonoscopy. Your rectum and bowel must be empty for the procedure, so your Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants doctor prescribes a powerful laxative to take the night before. You must also stop eating and drinking at the time your doctor advises.
Having a colonoscopy requires a sedative to keep you relaxed. You shouldn’t need any anesthetic as the procedure is generally painless. You lie on your left side and bend your knees while your doctor gently pushes the colonoscope into your rectum.
You may have some abdominal cramping, a feeling of pressure, and bloating during or after your colonoscopy. The procedure lasts about 30 minutes, depending on its purpose. Afterward, your doctor will discuss the results and next steps.
Call Gastrointestinal & Liver Consultants today or book an appointment online to learn how you can benefit from a colonoscopy.