Why Colonoscopies Are so Important

Have you've been meaning to schedule a colonoscopy but just haven't gotten around to calling a gastroenterologist? Making time for this important test offered by the gastroenterologists at the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida could save your life. The doctors have four convenient office locations in the Orlando, Kissimmee and Oviedo, FL, areas.

Why colonoscopies are so important

Colon cancer doesn't usually cause any symptoms in the earliest stages. In fact, you might feel perfectly fine for weeks, months or even years. Unfortunately, by the time cancer did cause symptoms, it would be much more difficult to treat.

Thanks to colonoscopies, it's possible for doctors to detect and treat suspicious lesions and polyps at their earliest stages. The sooner cancer is discovered, the better the chances of a full recovery after treatment.

The American Cancer Society recommends that both men and women receive their first colonoscopies at age 45. The age was recently reduced from 50 to 45 because the procedure has been so successful in detecting cancerous and pre-cancerous polyps.

Colonoscopies are also very helpful if you've been experiencing unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, a change in bowel movements, rectal bleeding and anemia. The tests help your gastroenterologist diagnose the cause of your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.

The colonoscopy process

Before you make an appointment for a colonoscopy, you'll visit a gastroenterology office in Orlando, Kissimmee or Orlando. During your visit, you'll discuss your health history and any digestive complaints with the doctor. The office staff will help you schedule a colonoscopy and explain what you need to do to prepare for the test.

You'll need to take laxatives as directed by your gastroenterologist to clear out your large intestine in preparation for your colonoscopy. This crucial step allows your doctor to obtain a clear view of the lining of your colon.

Before your colonoscopy begins, you'll receive a sedative or anesthesia. A thin, flexible scope with a light and a miniature camera will be inserted into your anus and passed through your large intestine. The camera sends images to a digital screen, providing real-time views of every inch of your large intestine.

If your doctor sees any polyps, he'll remove them immediately using special miniaturized tools. He can also take biopsies of suspicious areas and cauterize bleeding areas. After your procedure, your gastroenterologist will discuss the colonoscopy with you. If polyps or lesions are biopsied, you'll need to wait a few days for the results.

Protect your health with a colonoscopy. Call your Orlando, Kissimmee and Oviedo, FL, gastroenterologists at the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida at (407) 384-7388 to schedule an appointment.