Why Colonoscopies Are So Important
Are you in need of a colonoscopy?
Your gastroenterologists in Philadelphia, Langhorne, and Bala Cynwyd, PA, provide their patients with colonoscopies to ensure that the large intestine lining is healthy. Read on to learn more!
The importance of colonoscopies
G.I. specialists examine the lining of your colon for abnormalities by inserting a thin malleable tube into your anus. The colonoscopy is a great preventative procedure that detects colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, (about 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed and 50,000 people die from the disease), according to your doctors.
You need to follow a strict diet and cleansing routine before a colonoscopy because the colon must be completely clean for accuracy. The diet consists of clear liquids and special oral laxatives.
If you're taking medication, you can continue it after speaking with your doctor first, especially if they consist of any of these:
- Aspirin products
- Arthritis medications
- Anticoagulants, blood thinners like warfarin
- Iron products
- Allergy medication
If your gastroenterologist discovers something abnormal (e.g. a growth in the colon lining) they may extract a sample for biopsy. This will enable physicians to better diagnose you.
If your colon is bleeding, your doctor injects medications or seals off the bleeding vessels using small clips while they're performing a colonoscopy.
In the case of polyp discovery, they'll remove them during the examination in a procedure called a polypectomy, which isn't painful. Your doctor may fulgurate the polyp or use wire loops to remove it. While this may sound concerning, just know that polyps are usually benign and noncancerous. Although malignant (cancerous) polyps, of course, need to be removed to prevent colorectal cancer.
Concerned? Give us a call!
If you have any questions, just contact your G.I. specialists at any of their locations: Philadelphia, Langhorne and Bala Cynwyd, PA.
- For Philadelphia, dial (215) 632-3500
- For Langhorne, dial (215) 702-7090
- For Bala Cynwyd, dial (610) 664-9700