A Colonoscopy in Charleston SC is an extremely safe and effective procedure for viewing the full lining of the colon and rectum. Most important, it may be a life-saving procedure. The colonoscope is a long, thin, flexible instrument with a camera at the tip for viewing. It is introduced through the rectum and advanced until it reaches the beginning of the colon (about 4 feet). Images from the colonoscope appear on a video monitor with a high degree of detail and magnification providing excellent visualization of the entire colon.
How is a Colonoscopy Performed?
Colonoscopy is performed under “conscious sedation”. This means the patient is given medicine through an IV so they are not awake, not aware, not in pain, and have no memory of the experience. Almost 100% of patients relate a positive experience with the procedure.
Colonoscopy is an important way to check for colon cancer and to treat colon polyps. Polyps are abnormal growths on the inside lining of the intestine; they vary in size and shape and while most polyps are not cancerous, some may turn into cancer. However, it is not possible to tell just by looking at a polyp if it is malignant or potentially malignant.
This is why colonoscopy is often used to remove polyps, a technique called a polypectomy.
Should I have a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is the most effective modality in colon cancer prevention.
Colonoscopy will often be recommended for patients in the following situations:
Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard for colon testing. Other options include barium enema, sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonography and stool testing. The advantages of colonoscopy over the other modalities include:
How to prepare for the colonoscopy?
You will be given instructions in advance that will outline what you should and should not do in preparation for colonoscopy; be sure to read and follow these instructions. One very critical step is to thoroughly clean out the colon, which, for many patients, can be the most trying part of the entire exam. It is essential that you complete this step carefully, because how well the bowel is emptied will help determine how well your doctor can examine it during colonoscopy.
Please read the following instructions carefully.
- Preparing for Your Colonoscopy