Colonoscopy is a procedure used to diagnose many colorectal conditions and is also the main preventive screening test for colon and rectal cancers. Nelson Tajong, MD, is a board-certified gastroenterologist at Lakeside Gastroenterology providing outstanding services for patients in Conroe and The Woodlands, Texas. He has extensive experience using colonoscopy to spot the early signs of cancer and other colorectal conditions. Book your colonoscopy by calling Lakeside Gastroenterology or scheduling a consultation online.

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What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that your provider at Lakeside Gastroenterology carries out using an endoscope to get a clear view of the inside of your colon (large bowel).

The endoscope is a narrow, flexible tube equipped with a light and a tiny camera that sends back images of the inside of your colon to a monitor screen. Using the endoscope, they can get a clear view of the health of your colorectal tissues without the need for invasive open surgery.

When might I need a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is vital in detecting the early stages of colorectal cancer. It’s a recommended screening tool for people over 50, although if you have an increased risk, the Lakeside Gastroenterology team recommends you begin regular screening at an earlier age.

The polyps that grow in your colon and have the potential to become cancerous are visible during colonoscopy, and they’re also easy to remove before they become malignant and spread.

Screening helps save lives, so even if you feel well, it’s worth undergoing a regular colonoscopy after you reach 50, so you can avoid the life-threatening consequences of colorectal cancer.

Colonoscopy is also an invaluable tool for helping identify ulcers, inflammation, or tumors in the colon, and to help in the diagnosis of symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Lower gastrointestinal tract bleeding
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Chronic diarrhea

The team at Lakeside Gastroenterology can also use a colonoscopy to stretch narrowed areas within the colon and treat causes of bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

Before your colonoscopy, you take laxatives and follow a clear liquid diet to make sure your bowels are empty. You receive a sedative to help you relax and keep you comfortable, then your provider inserts the colonoscope into your rectum.

You shouldn’t feel pain, but you may feel some pressure, cramping, and bloating at times, if you’re even aware of the procedure at all.

Depending on the reason for your colonoscopy and whether your provider needs to remove any polyps, the procedure can take between 30-40 minutes After the procedure, you rest while the sedative wears off, and then someone can drive you home.

Undergoing a colonoscopy can seem like an unpleasant prospect for many patients, but the team at Lakeside Gastroenterology has years of experience treating patients. Call the office today or book an appointment online.