Find out if everyone, at some point in time, should get a colonoscopy.
While discussing who has had a colonoscopy probably won’t be the opener at your next cocktail party, it’s still an important part of your health that you should consider (even if you don’t want to discuss it publicly). It might be time to visit our NYC area, board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Azeem Khan for a colonoscopy if:
- You are a man or woman over the age of 50
- You have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
- You are a smoker or heavy drinker
- You have Crohn’s disease, colitis or other inflammatory bowel disorders
- You are obese
- You are dealing with rectal bleeding
Why should I get a colonoscopy?
This is the easiest and most reliable way to check for signs of colorectal cancer. While there are other procedures such as a flexible sigmoidoscopy that could be used, no other test has been proven to be as accurate for detecting colon cancer than a colonoscopy. Of course, if other tests suggest that you might have colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps, then a colonoscopy will need to be performed.
What does a colonoscopy entail?
During the procedure, our NYC area GI doctor carefully and gently places a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end into the rectum. As the scope is slowly guided through the lower intestines, this camera will help our doctor see every area of the colon to check for polyps or other signs of cancer. A colonoscopy is typically performed under IV sedation, where you are asleep but able to still fully breathe on your own. Most patients don’t even remember their procedure when they wake up.
If polyps are found during the colonoscopy they can easily be removed and sent away for testing. We may also biopsy certain suspicious areas, if necessary. In most instances, a colonoscopy only takes about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on whether polyps need to be removed or not. If everything comes back normal and you don’t have any risk factors then you may not need to get another test for 10 years.
Forest Hills Gastroenterology in the New York City area is dedicated to providing everything from routine to diagnostic gastrointestinal services to meet your ever-changing needs. If you need to schedule your colonoscopy or if you have questions about symptoms you are experiencing, don’t hesitate to call us today.