If you have risk factors for colon cancer or you've been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy. This outpatient procedure can help to rule out or confirm a specific GI diagnosis and may be used to develop an appropriate treatment plan, should treatment be necessary. Here's what you need to know about this extremely common GI procedure.
What Is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. This test can help find problems with these organs, such as polyps or colon cancer.
During a colonoscopy, your doctor will use a long, thin tube with a camera on the end to look at your organs. The tube is called a colonoscope. Your doctor will also be able to take pictures or biopsies during the procedure.
For the procedure, you will be given a sedative in order to keep you relaxed. You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure, as the effects of the sedative can take several hours to wear off. You should not drink alcohol or operate machinery for the rest of the day.
When a Colonoscopy Is Recommended
The board-certified and fellowship-trained GI doctors at Saddleback Medical Group Gastroenterology perform colonoscopies for a variety of reasons, including:
- As a screening for polyps and colon cancer
- To identify possible causes of GI symptoms, such as pain, bleeding, or changes in bowel habits
- For signs of digestive or inflammatory disease
Colon Cancer Screening
Did you know that colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States? Colon cancer is a serious disease that can be deadly if not treated early.
That’s why screening colonoscopies are recommended for all adults, beginning at age 45 – until 75 or so. If you have an increased risk of developing colon cancer, your GI doctor may recommend you have your first screening colonoscopy earlier.
Risk factors for colon cancer include:
If you are concerned about your risk of colon cancer, talk to your GI doctor, who can help you assess your risk and recommend steps to reduce it. Early detection is key to the successful treatment of this disease, so don't hesitate to get screened if you are at risk.
How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy
Our staff has prepared the following colonoscopy preparation instructions to help you get ready for your procedure. Your physician will instruct you as to which preparation is right for you. Simply click on the links below to print your examination instructions.
- Miralax / Gatorade Non-Split AM Prep
- Miralax / Gatorade Split Dose PM Prep
- MoviPrep Colonoscopy Preparation
- OsmoPrep Colonoscopy Prep
- Suprep Bowel Prep Kit
- Golytely/Nulytely/Trilytely Colonoscopy Prep
- Clenpiq Bowel Prep Kit
- New Plenvu 2-Day Split Dosing
- SuTab® Bowel Prep Kit
The gastroenterology specialists at Saddleback Medical Group perform outpatient colonoscopies at the Digestive Care Center in Laguna Hills, California.
Colonoscopy in Laguna Hills, CA
If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming colonoscopy, please do not hesitate to contact the Saddleback Medical Group Gastroenterology office in Laguna Hills, California, by calling (949) 770-7163 to speak with our staff. You may also request an appointment for a consultation to discuss whether it’s time for you to have a colonoscopy.