Years ago, exploratory surgery was the only way to determine the cause of gastrointestinal complaints. Today, colonoscopies provide doctors with an up-close view of your large intestine without the need for surgery. The Lima, OH, gastroenterologists at The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio share a few reasons why you might benefit from a colonoscopy.
Colonoscopies are an important cancer detection tool
Colon cancer rarely produces any symptoms until the cancer is at a fairly advanced stage. Unfortunately, it's much more difficult to treat at that point. During your colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist will examine the lining of your large intestine and lower part of your small intestine for polyps or other signs of cancer. Although polyps aren't necessarily cancerous, some of them may turn into cancer if they aren't removed during the procedure. Your doctor may also remove small tissue samples during the colonoscopy and stop bleeding with a heated probe.
Because your risk of cancer increases as you age, it's important to have your first colonoscopy at age 50, whether you're male or female. This year alone, more than 135,000 people in the U.S. will develop colon cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. If no problems are noted during your procedure, you can wait another 10 years for your next colonoscopy in Lima.
You'll be back to your usual activities quickly after your colonoscopy
Unlike some other diagnostic procedures, recovery from a colonoscopy is quick. Colonoscopies are usually performed using a sedative that wears off quickly when you wake up. In fact, you'll soon feel alert and will have no memory of the test. Although you may feel fine, you won't be able to drive for the rest of the day, due to concerns about the lingering effects of the sedative.
Colonoscopies give your gastroenterologist valuable information about your health
In addition to detecting colon cancer, colonoscopies are also used to find the cause of your gastrointestinal pain or other symptoms. A colonoscopy may be recommended if you experience chronic diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, changes in bowel movements and anemia.
Protect your health with a colonoscopy. Call the Lima, OH, gastroenterologists at The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio at (419) 227-8209 to schedule your appointment.