Colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a colonoscope to look inside your rectum and colon. Colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, polyps, and cancer.

Why do doctors use colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is the main tool used for detection and removal of colon polyps and colon cancer screening. It can help a doctor find the cause of symptoms, such as

  • bleeding from your rectum
  • changes in your bowel activity, such as diarrhea
  • pain in your abdomen
  • unexplained weight loss

Screening for Colon and Rectal Cancer

Your doctor will recommend screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 50 if you don’t have risk factors that make you more likely to develop colon cancer.

Screening colonoscopy may be recommended starting earlier than age 50 if you have risk factors for colorectal cancer including:

  • are African American
  • someone in your family has had polyps or colorectal cancer
  • have a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • have Lynch syndrome , or another genetic disorder that increases the risk of colorectal cancer

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

To prepare for a colonoscopy, you will need to talk with your doctor, change your diet for a few days, clean out your bowel, and arrange for a ride home with accompanied by an adult after the procedure. Your physician will provide you with detailed preparation instructions when scheduling your procedure.

You should talk with your doctor about your medical history, including medical conditions and symptoms you have, allergies, and all prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take, including:

  • aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin
  • arthritis medicines
  • blood thinners
  • blood pressure medicines
  • diabetes medicines
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen

Consent Colonoscopy


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