Colonoscopy In Charleston SCA 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.

img-colonoscopy-twoColonoscopy 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:

    1. Colon cancer screening test for both men and women over 50 years old with no symptoms or family history. Colonoscopy is often needed in patients younger than 50 for a family history of colon cancer or the symptoms described below.
    2. To evaluate patients with blood in stool, dark stools, or occult blood
    3. To evaluate patients with any significant change in bowel function (constipation, diarrhea, or change in consistency, size, and/or color of stool)
    4. To evaluate abdominal pain or weight loss.
    5. To follow up on patients with a history of colon polyps or cancer
    6. To follow up on patients with a history of inflammatory bowel disease
    7. To evaluate abnormalities that may have first been detected by other studies, such as an inflamed colon noted on a CT scan of the abdomen.

     

    Why colonoscopy and not other colon testing methods?

    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:

    1. A much better total visualization of the colon with a higher level of detail than other methods.
    2. The ability to treat problems at the same time (i.e., biopsy, polyp removal, treatment of bleeding site). A finding on any other test would then require a colonoscopy for treatment.
    3. The procedure is performed under conscious sedation for maximum patient comfort

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.

  1. Preparing for Your Colonoscopy