You are approaching 50, and it's time for your first screening colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that looks for colon cancer and precancerous conditions. You understand that more than 50,000 American adults die from colon cancer annually; so the test is important. Yet, you worry about the procedure.
Dr. Mark Leitner MD, board-certified West Ohio gastroenterologist, has been in practice since 1985. He and his associate physicians at The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio want their patients educated about and comfortable with the colonooscopy procedure. It definitely saves lives.
Three Myths about Colonoscopy
Colonscopy is painful. Veteran colonooscopy patients would tell you that a colonoscopy is basically painless. While some individuals may feel some bloating or light cramping during the 30 to 45-minute procedure, most feel nothing at all. Patients receive sedation before and during their tests to keep them relaxed and comfortable as the doctor inserts the lighted, flexible scope through the anus, rectum and colon. The physician looks at real-time images of the intestinal mucosa on the video monitor. After the procedure, patients often report little or no memory of their colonoscopy. The entire procedure, from entering the facility to leaving, takes 2 to 3 hours.
Additionally, Lima colonoscopies are very safe. Even minor post-operative bleeding is a rare complication. Bowel perforation happens in fewer than one percent of colonoscopies across the country. Dr. Leitner and his team diligently provide the safest and most comfortable environment and techniques possible.
Having a colon polyp spells cancer. This is not true. Physicians at the Cleveland Clinic state that 15 percent of women and 25 percent of men over 50 years of age have colon polyps at some point in their lives. Most of these growths, ranging in size from a pencil-point dot to a few inches in size, are completely non-cancerous. Some, however, may be pre-cancerous, but totally asymptomatic. That's why Dr. Leitner and the other gastroenterologists at The Endoscopy Center, remove polyps and test them for cancer. This procedure is called a "snare biopsy."
The pre-operative preparation is intolerable. In fact, the bowel cleansing necessary for a colonoscopy is easier now than it ever has been. Patients usually consume clear liquid diets the day prior to their procedures. Then, they drink water and laxative powders in the quantity prescribed to render the large intestine perfectly clean, facilitating good images during the tests. Rest assured your physician will prescribe the easiest regimen possible for you.
Then, contact The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio for your personal consultation with one of the physicians. Bring your questions about the colonoscopy and why it's so important. Call (419) 227-8209.