A colonoscopy is an invaluable screening tool that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your colon for abnormalities. At Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County, the team of expert gastroenterologists offers this routine procedure to people at their offices in Irvine, Huntington Beach, Tustin, and Foothill Ranch, California. If you’re due for a colonoscopy, call the nearest office to schedule an appointment or book online today.
A colonoscopy is a routine exam to screen for colorectal cancer. During a colonoscopy, the doctor examines the lining of your large intestine by inserting a thin flexible tube into your rectum. They gently and slowly advance this device into your colon.
The instrument, called a colonoscope, contains a camera and light so the doctor can view magnified images of your colon on a video monitor.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. There are approximately 150,000 new cases diagnosed every year and 50,000 deaths. It’s estimated that increased awareness about colorectal cancer and regular screenings could save at least 30,000 lives each year.
Colonoscopies are important because gastroenterologists use them to find and remove polyps, which can be precancerous. Removal of a polyp, which is called a polypectomy, prevents the polyp from developing into full-blown colorectal cancer.
Colonoscopies may also be used as a diagnostic tool to look for the cause of symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and bleeding.
Polyps are abnormal growths in the lining of your colon. These polyps are usually noncancerous and vary greatly in size, ranging from a tiny dot to several inches in length. Polyps are usually removed for analysis because some can turn cancerous.
Colonoscopies are routine exams and are generally safe when performed by qualified gastroenterologists, like those at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County.
Uncommon complications include:
While these complications are usually minor and easily resolved, in rare cases you may need surgery or other intervention. If you have any fever or chills, rectal bleeding, or severe abdominal pain after your colonoscopy, contact the office right away.
It’s normal to have some bleeding for several days after the procedure, but if you’re concerned, don’t hesitate to call.
If you’re in need of a colonoscopy for diagnosis or routine colorectal cancer screening, call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County or schedule an appointment online today.