Colonoscopy: Safe and Thorough Cancer Screening
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows our colorectal surgeons to examine a patient's colon using an endoscope, which is a very small camera on the end of a flexible tube. Colonoscopies have the potential to save patients' lives, as they can detect pre-cancerous and cancerous tissues in their earliest stages of development. A colonoscopy can also detect benign tumors, ulcers, and more. We have the advanced tools, experience, and expertise you can trust when it comes to your health. To schedule your colonoscopy at our Garden City or East Setauket offices, contact us today.
Why Schedule a Colonoscopy?
By undergoing regular colonoscopies, you allow your doctor to detect cancer and other dangerous conditions in their earliest stages, often before they present symptoms. Colon cancer is much easier to treat when it is identified in its earliest stages. The longer colon cancer is left untreated, the less likely a patient is to survive it.
A colonoscopy is also a time- and money-saving treatment. When our surgeons detect dangerous conditions early, they can treat them more efficiently. Advanced disease and cancer, conversely, may require expensive and invasive surgical treatments.
The Colonoscopy Process
Before one of our colorectal surgeons performs a colonoscopy, our board-certified anesthesiologist places the patient under sedation. The patient feels no discomfort or pain, and most wake up feeling nothing more than mild drowsiness from the sedation. Although complications are rare, we monitor patients afterward to ensure that there are no adverse side effects, such as bleeding. Because the effects of anesthesia will take time to subside, patients cannot drive themselves home after the procedure.
If a CRSSNY specialist discovers a polyp, he or she may decide to remove it during the test, as these growths can develop into cancer. For larger polyps, tumors, and other abnormalities, we conduct a biopsy. This involves removing a portion of the abnormal tissue or polyp. We examine the sample under a microscope to check for the presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells.
As we are physicians, the physicians of CRSSNY often receives referrals to perform advanced endoscopies involving the removal of lesions and small, benign tumors in the colon. Given our doctors' high level of training and experience, you will never be referred out to another physician if any abnormality is found during your colonoscopy.
Prepping Your System
Patient comfort is one of our main priorities, so CRSSNY offers several different methods for cleaning the colon before a procedure. We work with each patient to understand their needs, so we can prescribe a custom solution.
Colon preparation begins one to two days before the procedure, depending on the preparatory regimen. Often, patients ingest a special solution to induce bowel movements, followed by drinking a clear fruit juice to counteract the often salty taste. Patients should plan to stay near a restroom, preferably at home, as the process results in loose stool, diarrhea, and a prolonged need to empty the bowels. We ask patients to limit their food intake to clear liquids until after the colonoscopy.
Schedule a Consultation
Everyone older than 50 years of age should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, and we recommend patients with risk factors for colon cancer begin screening sooner. Contact CRSSNY today to schedule an appointment.