A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of the colon for signs of cancer, polyps and other gastrointestinal problems. Healthy adults without any family history of colon cancer should schedule a colonoscopy around age 50. Adults with certain medical conditions or a family history of colon cancer may need to have a colonoscopy sooner than that. The gastroenterology experts at Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, can advise you when to schedule your first colonoscopy.
The Colonoscopy Procedure
An instrument called a colonoscope is used to perform the colonoscopy procedure. The colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a small video camera on the end. The gastroenterologist gently inserts the colonoscope into the colon through the anus. As the colonoscope is moved up along the colon, the video camera allows the gastroenterologist to examine the colon’s interior and look for suspicious areas. If polyps or other suspicious growths are observed, the colonoscope can be used to remove polyps and extract samples for biopsy.
Who Needs a Colonoscopy?
As mentioned, all healthy adults should have a colonoscopy beginning at age 50. Adult patients of all ages who have chronic gastrointestinal problems due to conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can undergo several colonoscopies at different ages, beginning as early as the twenties. Your Las Vegas and Henderson gastroenterologists at the Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada can tell you if you need a colonoscopy younger than age 50.
For healthy adults approaching 50 years of age, it is important to schedule your first colonoscopy soon. For adults with a personal or family history of gastrointestinal problems, including colon cancer, be sure to discuss with the doctor when a colonoscopy should be performed. To schedule an appointment with the Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada and your Las Vegas and Henderson, NV Gastroenterologists, call (702) 483-4483.