A colonoscopy is a procedure used to discover polyps in the colon which can become cancerous if not found and removed. On average 40,000 Americans have a colonoscopy per day, so even if this is not your first one of these screenings, here are some important questions to ask your colonoscopy doctor beforehand.
A Colonoscopy Doctor Is A Gastroenterologist
A gastroenterologist is a doctor who has received specific training in doing a colonoscopy, and they often perform more colonoscopies than any other procedure. This training is necessary as it increases the chance that the procedure will be performed correctly and safely, as well as being precise in interpreting any abnormal results.
A GI doctor completes a fellowship program in gastroenterology or receives training during a surgical residency.
Why Do I Need A Colonoscopy When I Can Take A Stool Test?
At home stool tests have become a popular way to do a screening instead of a colonoscopy, and some doctors believe they are better than no test at all. They can find signs of blood or DNA mutations that can be signs of cancer. Unfortunately, they also miss the ability to see polyps which may develop into cancer later. A positive result requires a colonoscopy anyway.
At home tests are not appropriate for anyone with risk factors like a family history of colon cancer or for patients who have a history of polyps.
How Important Is The Prep For A Colonoscopy?
Let’s just say if you don’t prep carefully, you may need to repeat the entire process again, so yes, it is vital to follow the preparation carefully. Ask Digestive Health Services about the type of preparation they recommend early on in your discussions. There are options now to make it a bit easier and less uncomfortable.
How Likely Are You To Find Polyps?
Adenoma is the medical term for polyp and there are standard rates for detecting them during a colonoscopy. The ADR or adenoma detection rate is the measure of average risk patients age 50 and older who are found to have at least one polyp. The higher the percentage the better chance to detect any cancer with 25% being the benchmark.
How Often Do You Reach The Large Intestine During The Colonoscopy?
The cecum is the beginning of the large intestine and an experienced gastroenterologist reaches it more than 90 to 95% of the time to complete the procedure.
A colonoscopy is the best way to discover colon cancer and most tests are performed at 10 year intervals if nothing suspicious is found.
Contact Digestive Health Services if you want to schedule your first colonoscopy or if it’s time for a follow up.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (630) 434-9312 today.