Do you need a colonoscopy? This procedure, performed by the gastroenterologists here at Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada in Henderson and Las Vegas, NV, provides valuable information on your digestive health and help you avoid the potentially deadly effects of colon cancer.
When a colonoscopy can be helpful
Your Henderson or Las Vegas gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy if:
- You turned 45 recently: Your risk of developing colon cancer increases as you grow older. Since colon cancer doesn't usually produce any symptoms until it's fairly advanced, it's important to diagnose it in its earliest, most treatable stages—a goal that can be accomplished by with the help of colonoscopies. If your colonoscopy doesn't reveal any issues, you won't need to schedule another procedure for 10 years in most cases.
- You had a pre-cancerous or cancerous polyp or lesion in the past: Colonoscopies may be recommended more frequently if you've had cancer or your gastroenterologist has removed a polyp with pre-cancerous cells in the past.
- You have digestive issues: Colonoscopies are very helpful in narrowing down the cause of a variety of symptoms, including rectal bleeding, chronic constipation/diarrhea, abdominal pain, bowel movement changes, or unexplained weight loss. Some issues, such as bleeding blood vessels, can even be treated during a colonoscopy.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
You'll need to take laxatives to clean out your intestines before you arrive for your colonoscopy. Although the prep process isn't fun, it is essential. After all, without it, your gastroenterologist won't have a clear view of the lining of your intestines.
During your colonoscopy, your doctor inserts a thin, lighted scope into your anus and passes it through your large intestine and into the upper part of your small intestine. The scope contains a tiny camera that transmits digital images to a monitor that your gastroenterologist views during the procedure. Your doctor examines every inch of your intestines for polyps, lesions, or other signs of trouble.
Any polyps discovered during the colonoscopy are removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will determine if your polyps are non-cancerous, pre-cancerous or cancerous.
Concerned? Give us a call
Could you benefit from a colonoscopy? Call your gastroenterologists at Comprehensive Digestive Institute of Nevada at (702) 483-4483 today to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in either Henderson or Las Vegas, NV.