The colonoscopy receives a lot of attention as a highly effective colon cancer screening tool, and rightly so. Doctors also rely on the colonoscopy to identify other concerning conditions affecting your colon, such as ulcerative colitis (UC), diverticulitis, and Chron’s disease. Diagnostic and screening colonoscopies are included in the many premier services offered by the team of surgeons at Chicago Surgical Clinic in Arlington Heights, Illinois. You can rely on their surgical skill and expertise, as well as their commitment to providing patient-centered care. Book an appointment at Chicago Surgical Clinic online or by phone today.
The American Cancer Society recommends that individuals who are at average risk for developing colon cancer start screening tests at age 45. Screening studies include stool-based tests that check the fecal matter for signs of cancer or visual exams of the colon and rectal structures, such as the colonoscopy.
If you have a higher risk of developing colon cancer, your doctor may recommend starting screening studies earlier than 45. Factors that increase your risk include:
If you’re due for a colonoscopy or have one or more of these risk factors, schedule an appointment at Chicago Surgical Clinic.
Compared to stool studies which analyze fecal matter for signs of cancer, a colonoscopy provides your physician with a real-time view of your colorectal structure. The study can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, polyps, and cancerous changes, which provide a more accurate picture of the health of your colon and rectum.
Another advantage of a colonoscopy includes your surgeon’s ability to treat certain conditions during the procedure itself, including polyp removal and early repair of damaged tissue. As a diagnostic tool, a colonoscopy can shed light on issues causing your symptoms, such as ulcerative colitis.
You receive detailed instructions and information regarding prep for the study and what happens during and after a colonoscopy before you’re scheduled to undergo the procedure.
In general, however, colonoscopies take about 20-30 minutes to perform — longer if you require polyp removal (polypectomy) or other surgical treatment during the study. You may experience some discomfort due to gas, but the colonoscopy is more awkward than painful. You’ll be sedated and relaxed during the study.
As you lie on your side with your knees bent, your surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube containing a tiny camera known as a colonoscope to the beginning of your colon via the rectum.
The colonoscope transfers images to a computer monitor. As the colonoscope is slowly withdrawn, your surgeon watches carefully for polyps and other problematic changes in your colorectal tissue and may choose to remove polyps and/or take tissue samples for biopsy.
Schedule your visit for a screening or diagnostic colonoscopy with the expert team at Chicago Surgical Clinic online or by phone today.