If you’re 50 years old and need colon cancer screenings or have undiagnosed bowel problems, it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy. At their Houston practice, Philip L. Leggett, MD, and Seeyuen Lee, MD, offer expert colonoscopy services to screen and diagnose bowel diseases such as colon cancer and polyps. If you need a colonoscopy, call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.
A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure during which your doctor uses a colonoscope — a thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera on its tip — to look at the inside of your colon. The device sends pictures back to a monitor in the treatment room so your doctor can look for abnormalities.
After the age of 50, both men and women should have periodic colonoscopies to screen for signs of colon cancer or polyps. However, your doctor may also suggest a colonoscopy to diagnose other conditions if you have symptoms such as:
If you have a personal or family history of colon cancer or polyps, talk to your doctor about when you should start having colonoscopies and how frequently you need them.
Your doctor gives you customized instructions on how to prepare for your colonoscopy. However, in general, you should follow a clear liquid diet for 72 hours before your procedure. Your doctor may give you a laxative to take the evening before your appointment, and they may suggest an enema before your colonoscopy.
You should also arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment. Your doctor may give you a sedative to help you relax during your colonoscopy, which could leave you too groggy to drive yourself.
A colonoscopy usually takes 30-60 minutes. You wear a hospital gown and lie on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. Your doctor may give you a mild sedative to help you relax and stay comfortable during the procedure.
Then, your doctor inserts the colonoscope into your colon and slightly inflates your bowel with gas to create room for clear pictures. The colonoscope sends images to a video monitor in the room, which your doctor examines for signs of cancer and other abnormalities that could cause your symptoms. If your doctor finds abnormal tissue, they may take a biopsy for further testing.
If you need a colonoscopy, call the team at Philip L. Leggett, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.