A colonoscopy is an important screening tool our gastroenterologists utilize to determine if you are at risk for colon cancer or to identify sources of rectal pain and bleeding. This procedure involves inserting a small, thin scope with a lighted camera on its end into the rectum to visualize the rectum and colon.
This procedure is often met with many myths and misconceptions. Our Bala Cynwyd, PA colonoscopy specialists have selected the most common to debunk so you can better understand the colonoscopy process.
Myth 1: I Don’t Need a Colonoscopy If I Don’t Have Symptoms
Unfortunately, colon cancer does not often cause symptoms until the cancer is in its advanced stages. A colonoscopy can detect potentially cancerous lesions before they become cancerous. A colonoscopy detects precancerous polyps in 15 percent of women and 25 percent of men older than age 50 on an annual basis, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Myth 2: A Colonoscopy Is Painful
While it’s true that a colonoscopy can be somewhat uncomfortable, every step is taken to reduce this discomfort. This includes conscious sedation throughout the procedure where you are in a state of sleep known as twilight sleep. Many people do not even remember the colonoscopy procedure. Only an estimated 5 percent of patients report some abdominal cramping following the procedure.
Myth 3: Colon Prep Is Horrible/Embarrassing
Prior to undergoing a colonoscopy, you will be asked to drink a special liquid preparation that promotes you to empty your colon of stool. A clean colon allows our Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist to better visualize your colon. This enables the colonoscopy to be its most effective. Most of our patients report that hardest part of the colonoscopy procedure was drinking so much fluid. Our entire professional staff works to make the colonoscopy process as private and respectful as possible. You should not feel embarrassed about doing something positive for your health.
The American Cancer Society recommends most people have a colonoscopy by age 50 (those with family history or other gastrointestinal-related conditions may need to do so at an earlier age). To schedule your colonoscopy, call our Bala Cynwyd, PA office at (610) 664-9700