Your doctor told you that you need a colonoscopy. Now what? The procedure might sound frightening and we bet you have lots of questions. No need to stress, we’re here to cover how often you should have a colonoscopy and everything you need to know –the before, during, after, and everything in between. We promise it isn’t as scary as it sounds!
A colonoscopy is a procedure doctors use to take a look at the inside of your intestine and colon. They will be able to see any changes that may need special attention. There is a special prep that you will need to follow the day before the procedure. During the colonoscopy, you will be asleep. Once the procedure is over you’ll wake up and be on your way out the door.
But that’s not it, there’s a lot more to a colonoscopy and that’s what we’ll talk about below, so keep reading.
Why Do I Need a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is performed for several reasons. The main reason is as a screening tool for colorectal cancer. The doctor can look for signs of cancer or signals of a precancerous growth like a polyp. According to Healthline, “The American College of Surgeons estimates that 90-percent of polyps or tumors can be detected through colonoscopy screenings.” The CDC recommends that adults over 50 years and under 75 years be screened for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer isn’t the only reason your doctor may order a colonoscopy. The procedure can look for causes of unexplained abdominal pain, bleeding, weight loss, or changes in your bowel habits. If your doctor suspects you have conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis you will likely need a colonoscopy for a diagnosis. If your doctor requests that you get a colonoscopy make sure you understand why you need it.