Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills
Gastroenterology & Internal Medicine located in Los Angeles, CA
A colonoscopy is a straightforward procedure that could quite literally save your life. Undergoing a colonoscopy at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills, in Beverly Hills, California, is a highly effective way of screening for colon cancer and removing the polyps that could cause the disease before they become cancerous. Call the practice today to schedule your colon cancer screening or book an appointment online.
Colonoscopy Q & A
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a type of endoscope to diagnose and treat colon (large bowel) conditions.
An endoscope is a special kind of instrument that has a camera and a light on one end of a flexible tube. The tube can go into your body without the need to make any incisions. The camera sends back images of the inside of your body to a monitor in the treatment room, so your provider can see everything in detail.
A colonoscopy is a type of endoscope that goes into your rectum and travels all the way along your colon to the small intestine.
Why would I need a colonoscopy?
Your provider at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills might recommend a colonoscopy to help diagnose symptoms such as:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Irregular bowel movements
- Rectal bleeding
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic constipation
- Rectal mucus or pus
A colonoscopy is used to identify cancer if you have any symptoms. In its early stages, colon cancer doesn’t usually cause any problems, so you wouldn’t know you have it. Screening can detect polyps that could become a tumor, so your provider can remove them.
A colonoscopy is useful for stretching areas of your colon that are narrowing, and treating some of the causes of bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your provider can also take a sample of tissue (biopsy) during a colonoscopy to test for inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
You have to take special, strong laxatives the night before your colonoscopy to clear out your bowels. You’re told when to stop eating and drinking, and when to start taking the laxatives. You need to stay close to a convenient bathroom for a few hours once the laxatives start working.
Once you arrive at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills for your colonoscopy, you get a sedative so you feel relaxed. You have to lie on your left side with your knees bent, and your provider gently feeds the colonoscope into your rectum.
It might feel a bit odd, and you could experience some cramping, bloating, or a feeling of pressure, but you shouldn’t be in too much discomfort. The colonoscopy takes around 30 minutes, maybe more depending on why you’re having the procedure.
You can discuss the results of your colonoscopy with your provider once you recover from your sedative. If you had a biopsy, it could take a few days to get the results back, so your provider contacts you when the results come in.
If you have any gastrointestinal problems or wish to arrange a screening for colon cancer, call Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills today or book an appointment online.