What Is Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that is proven to save lives

FACTS ABOUT COLONOSCOPY AND COLORECTAL CANCER
If you're age 50 or older, are in a higher risk group or if your physician has recommended a colonoscopy, you should learn more about this procedure that is proven to save lives.
 
WHY HAVE A COLONOSCOPY?
Colorectal cancer — a cancer that affects the intestines — is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, yet it's one of the most preventable kinds of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are more than 1 million Americans living with colorectal cancer. More than 130,000 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014 and it caused more than 50,000 deaths. It can affect anyone at any age, but it's most common among those age 45 and up.
Colonoscopy is the primary screening tool used to detect early signs of colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy can detect problems in the bowel before colorectal cancer develops, and your physician can treat these problems, possibly preventing the cancer from developing.

A colonoscopy can also be used to

  • Monitor or treat Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Check for cause of chronic diarrhea or of iron-deficiency anemia
  • Check for cause of unexplained rapid weight loss

 
COLONOSCOPY REDUCES DEATHS FROM COLORECTAL CANCER
A longterm study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported in the New York Times found that deaths from colorectal cancer were 53% less for people who received regular colonoscopy screenings and had precancerous growths removed than people who didn't.
 
WHO SHOULD HAVE A COLONOSCOPY?
Anyone who has been recommended to have a colonoscopy by a physician should follow their doctor's advice. If you're over 50 and have average risk — you haven't previously had colorectal cancer, don't have a family history of colorectal cancer and don't have IBD or Crohn's disease —  the American Cancer Society and federal government health guidelines recommend that you have a colonoscopy screening every 10 years so long as your results are normal.
 
RISK FACTORS
If you have any of the enhanced risk factors, you may need to begin screening earlier than age 50 — in some cases as early as age 10 — as recommended by your doctor. According to the American Cancer Society these risk factors include:

  • Personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Crohn's Disease

 
AFRICAN AMERICANS AND COLORECTAL SCREENING
African Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger age than other ethnic groups and African Americans have a lower survival rate compared with other groups. For these reasons, physician experts from the American College of Gastroenterology recommend that African Americans begin colorectal cancer screenings at age 45 rather than age 50.
 
WHAT IS A COLONOSCOPY?
During a colonoscopy, a thin, flexible colonoscope will be inserted into your anus and the doctor will move it up and into your bowel. The scope will allow the doctor to observe any abnormalities in the lining of your bowel or rectum. If necessary, the doctor may also use the scope to remove tissue that needs to be examined or biopsied. For more detailed information on the procedure, see our Procedures page and choose "Colonoscopy."

WHY SCHEDULE YOUR COLONOSCOPY AT DIGESTIVE AND LIVER CENTER OF FLORIDA
Studies have shown that who performs your colonoscopy is critically  important. Trained gastroenterologists with lengthy experience performing colonoscopies have been shown to find more abnormal polyps and their patients are less likely to develop fatal colorectal cancer.

Dr. Seela, Dr. Sheela, Dr. Ramesh and Dr. Larach have decades of experience in performing and interpreting the results of colonoscopy procedures. Additionally, both the doctors and the on-site Endo-Surgical Center of Florida are certified by the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy — the preeminent professional society for physicians who perform colonoscopies.


 
ASGE CERTIFICATION
Having an ASGE member perform your endoscopic procedures ensures that you are in the hands of someone who is highly trained. Physicians and surgeons who are members of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) have highly specialized training in endoscopic procedures of the digestive tract, including colonoscopy, upper GI (gastrointestinal) endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). ASGE members undergo a rigorous application and screening process and are recognized by the medical community as experts in gastroenterology and GI surgery who, in addition, have advanced training in gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures.

ASGE members have demonstrated proof of rigorous endoscopic training. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is the only medical society that requires documentation of specific training in GI endoscopic procedures.
 
EXPERIENCED DOCTORS, BETTER RESULTS
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014 and reported in Forbes demonstrated the value of the experience of the physician performing your colonoscopy and how that impacts your health.

The doctors’ skill affected how early in the disease progression they were able to identify and remove abnormal polyps. And patients whose doctors found the most abnormal polyps had just a 38% chance of dying from the growth of a colon cancer compared to those patients whose doctors found the fewest polyps.

Dr. Srinivas Seela was trained at Yale University and has been recognized as one of the top 125 gastroenterologists in the U.S. Dr. Harinath Sheela also trained at Yale University and is recognized as a leader in research on gastrointestinal and liver disorders. Dr. Seela Ramesh trained at the internationally recognized Medical College of Virginia while Dr. Sergio Larach finished his fellowship at the University of Texas and is a board-certified colorectal surgeon. Learn more about our physicians here.
 
CONVENIENT ON-SITE ENDO SURGICAL CENTER
Our main campus on Dean Road in Orlando includes a state-of-the-art surgical care center that has been recognized by ASGE. The center provides sophisticated care in a safe and convenient environment. The location of the center on our main campus is on Dean Road close to SR 417 and SR 408, putting it just minutes from locations throughout Central Florida. Instead of checking into a hospital, you can have your procedure performed in one of the area's premier outpatient facilities