Martha Jefferson Monday: What Can I Expect During a Colonoscopy - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What Can I Expect During a Colonoscopy?

For people ages 50 and above, getting a colonoscopy should be on your to-do list. Although a colonoscopy is not something people tend to get excited about, doctors say the examination has become less onerous over time and is key to preventing colon cancer.

“The gold standard is colonoscopy because it’s preventative in finding these early growths and then removing them before it sequences to colon cancer,” commented Dr. Daniel Pambianco with Charlottesville Gastroenterology.

Screening is recommended starting at age 50 for most people of average risk, and age 45 for African Americans due to their high risk. The first step you have to take is drinking a cleansing preparation. You drink half the day before your procedure, and half the morning of the procedure. It allows doctors to help better see during the exam.

“The more we can see the colon, the better the screening exam,” noted Dr. Pambianco.

The procedure itself just takes about an hour and a half. Patients are typically sedated, and then doctors use a scope to examine their colon.

“There are scopes that have microchips in them that visualize the colon very vividly and we try to look at every centimeter of the colon,” noted Dr. Pambianco.

After the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home and you will need to take the remainder of the day off from work. Other than that, there are no lasting side effects.

“We currently use carbon dioxide to inflate the colon during the exam, so what that translates to is that gets absorbed very readily and does not need to be passed as gas would or air would, so that means patients are not having any gas or cramps right after the procedure,” commented Dr. Pambianco.

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.

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