What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy aids in the early detection of colorectal cancer and colon cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer screenings start at age 50. If you have a strong family history of colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommend you start at an earlier age.
What to Expect
A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by a gastroenterologist or surgeon. The exam typically lasts about 30 minutes and involves using small puffs of air to allow the doctor to see your colon clearly and detect any abnormalities that could otherwise be missed. Patients usually receive anesthesia so they can sleep during the procedure. Although you may experience gas and abdominal bloating or discomfort afterwards, you should not experience pain.
Preparing for a Colonoscopy
As you prepare for your colonoscopy, it’s strongly recommended you take the day off work and arrange a ride to and from the exam. McKay-Dee Hospital requires that you bring someone to drive you home. Due to the effects of anesthesia, we advise patients not to return to work after the exam, and avoid participating in any vigorous activities for the remainder of the day.
After your colonoscopy you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your procedure and any dietary and healthcare recommendations. If further testing is needed, your doctor will likely schedule follow-up appointments. Diagnostic cancer screenings vary. If one is necessary you doctor will discuss the procedure, preparation and follow-up with you.
For questions about colonoscopy and colorectal cancer screenings, call (801) 387-2500.