Getting a colonoscopy does not have to be a scary experience when you know what to expect. Learn everything you need to know about colonoscopies by reading the frequently asked questions below. The Gastrointestinal Specialists have three convenient locations for performing colonoscopies in Bala Cynwyd, Philadelphia, and Langhorne.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure for examining the lining of the large intestine, which is also your colon. During the examination, the gastroenterologist looks for abnormalities, such as polyps and signs of color cancer or other gastrointestinal problems.

Who should have a colonoscopy?

Healthy men and women should schedule their first colonoscopy around age fifty. Adults who should have a colonoscopy at an earlier age include those with a family history of colon cancer or those with gastrointestinal problems or certain medical conditions, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In such cases, a gastroenterologist can recommend when you should have a colonoscopy.

How is a colonoscopy performed?

Colonoscopies are performed with the help of a tool called a colonoscope, which is a flexible tube that has a camera on one end. The tube is inserted into the anus and up into the colon or large intestine. The camera on the end allows the gastroenterologist to examine the lining of the colon and identify any abnormalities or concerns.

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

The gastroenterologist will prescribe a cleansing routine to help you prepare for your colonoscopy. The cleansing routine helps clean out the colon prior to the procedure so the gastroenterologist will be better able to examine the lining. The cleansing routine typically involves some dietary restrictions while also ingesting oral laxatives or a special cleansing solution.

Does a colonoscopy hurt?

While colonoscopies are readily tolerated by most individuals, some people do experience minor discomfort. To help you relax, as well as minimize pain or discomfort, the gastroenterologist will administer a sedative and/or painkiller prior to beginning the procedure.

How long does the procedure take?

It takes about three hours total for a colonoscopy procedure, including preparation and recovery time. The actual colonoscopy procedure itself only takes about thirty to sixty minutes to complete, but might take a little longer if polyps are present and need to be removed. Patients usually return home the same day as the colonoscopy procedure.

If you are already fifty years of age or older and have not had a colonoscopy, schedule one as soon as possible. For colonoscopies in Bala Cynwyd, schedule an appointment with the Gastrointestinal Specialists by calling (610) 664-9700. They have two other convenient locations at the Torresdale campus in Philadelphia, (215) 632-3500, as well as in Langhorne, (215) 702-7090.