What is it?
It is an accurate and thorough test that provides a direct view the entire length of the empty colon’s lining, as well as the rectum, in order to screen for polyps and lesions. The endoscopic examination is done with an instrument known as a colonoscope, which has a small camera attached to a thin, flexible tube that is passed through the anus.
Why is it done?
It is the main test used for screening and preventing colorectal cancer. In addition, it should be done in adults with conditions such as anemia of unknown origin, presence of blood in the stool, abdominal pain, unexplained changes in bowel habit, sudden weight loss and/or inflammatory bowel disease among others.
Who should have it done?
Every man and women, 50 years of age and older.
Every 5 years or as often as recommended by your physician.
What else should you keep in mind?
As an added benefit, if any polyps or lesions are detected during the examination, they may be removed at the time in order to be biopsied. Before a colonoscopy the patient must fast and undergo a laxative preparation in order to empty the colon. During the examination he/she will be sedated (not under general anesthesia) and afterwards it is important to rest for several hours, as well as drinking water abundantly.
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