What is a Colonoscopy?

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that helps doctors find changes in the large intestine and rectum, like swollen or irritated tissues, polyps, or cancer.

To do this, a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope is gently inserted into the rectum. This tube has a tiny camera at the end, which lets the doctor see the whole inside of the colon and find any potential issues.

Why are Colonoscopies Done?

  • Crucial Safeguard: Colonoscopies are vital for checking the colon and rectum for possible problems like irritated tissues, inflammation, swelling, polyps, and cancer indicators.
  • Early Detection: Identifying these issues early is crucial, enabling prompt intervention and treatment, especially for preventing cancer.
  • Age Recommendation: Reputable sources such as the American Cancer Society generally recommend colonoscopies for individuals aged 50 and above.
  • Personalized Care: These screenings can be adjusted based on individual risk factors, ensuring timely and focused healthcare attention.

Recommended Colonoscopy Timeline

  • Age-Based Recommendations:
    Age 45-50: Consider your first colonoscopy if you have average risk. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance based on your health history.
  • Follow-Up Recommendations:
    After a normal colonoscopy, typically repeat every 5-10 years, depending on risk factors.

    Abnormal findings will lead to a personalized follow-up plan.

  • High-Risk Individuals:
    Family history or genetic conditions may require earlier and more frequent screenings.
  • Previous Colonoscopy:
    Timing for your next screening depends on prior results; consult your healthcare provider.
  • Symptoms or Health Changes:
    If you experience concerning symptoms, seek immediate medical attention and discuss colonoscopy needs with your provider.

What to Expect

During the Procedure:

  • Deep Sedation: You’ll receive deep sedation to ensure your comfort and relaxation throughout the procedure.
  • Tube Insertion: A thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera will be gently inserted into your rectum.
  • Visual Examination: The camera’s images will help the doctor carefully examine the inside of your colon on a screen.

After the Procedure:

  • Gradual Awakening: You’ll gradually wake up after the procedure, with the effects of deep sedation wearing off.
  • Short Recovery Time: Plan for a brief recovery period before you’re ready to leave.
  • Assistance Needed: Due to the deep sedation, it’s important to arrange for someone to accompany you home.
  • Eating and Drinking:Your doctor will guide you when you can resume normal eating and drinking.
  • Results Discussion: If any issues were discovered or samples taken, your doctor will discuss the results and the subsequent steps with you.

Colonoscopy Preparation

Detailed instructions tailored to your needs will be provided by your doctor before your colonoscopy.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect for the preparation process:

  • Clearing Your Colon: The goal is to have a clear view of your colon during the procedure. There are two common methods used for this:
  • Drink Solution: You might be asked to drink a special solution that helps flush out your colon.
  • Pill Regimen: You might be given pills to take over a period of time, which also help clear your colon for the procedure.
  • Diet Adjustments: Your doctor will likely ask you to follow a certain diet in the days leading up to the colonoscopy. This might involve avoiding certain foods or sticking to a clear liquid diet.
  • Medication Guidance: You’ll be informed about how to take your regular medications leading up to the procedure. Some might need to be adjusted.
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is important, even during preparation. Your doctor will advise you on how much fluid you can have.

Our Colonoscopy Providers

Lance R. Bryce, MD

Lance R. Bryce, MD

General Surgery

    Lance Hansen, MD

    Lance Hansen, MD

    Family Medicine

      Our Colonoscopy Location

      Franklin County Medical Center
      44 N 1st E, Preston, ID 83263
      Open 24/7
      Laboratory Hours: Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 5:30 pm 
      Radiology Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 am-6:00 pm 
      (208) 852-0137

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