Discover Why It Is Important to Have a Colonoscopy Exam


Are you aware that the five-year survival rate for those with colon cancer is 90% if it is found and treated early in its advancement? When it comes to finding colorectal cancer and additional colorectal issues, colonoscopy has earned a reputation among gastroenterology professionals as the most effective, dependable process.

The skilled physicians at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants commonly perform colonoscopy screenings for individuals throughout the community. Keep reading as our DFW gastroenterology team outlines the vital role colonoscopies carry out in safeguarding your GI health.

Who is a good candidate for a colonoscopy screening?

Routine colonoscopies are recommended for individuals who are 45 or older. People who are younger might also be advised to undergo a cancer screening should one or more of the following criteria apply:

  • You have signs or symptoms that are connected with colorectal cancer, including:
    • Blood in your bowel movements
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Abdominal pain
  • You have some variation of inflammatory bowel syndrome (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Your family medical history includes colorectal polyps or cancer

It's important to recognize that the symptoms above are also representative of other digestive health concerns, making it crucial to arrange for a colonoscopy exam to assess your GI health and symptoms. Reach out to Texas Digestive Disease Consultants to learn more surrounding other disorders that may be detected with a colonoscopy exam.

How long does a colonoscopy screening take to complete?

For most patients, the entire colonoscopy procedure typically lasts a few hours, from preparation to recovery. You should plan to arrive at your colonoscopy doctor's facility or endoscopy center in DFW 1 – 1.5 hours before your scheduled colonoscopy. This will give you some additional time to take care of any necessary forms and put on a hospital gown. When you are ready, you'll be shown into the procedure room, where the staff will begin administering sedation to make you feel more comfortable throughout the colonoscopy process.

In most scenarios, a typical colonoscopy exam takes 15 – 30 minutes. Your physician will gently position the colonoscope (a slender, probe-attached video camera) into the rectum, slowly positioning it into the colon and viewing the video for irregularities. In the event colorectal polyps (growths) are identified during the colonoscopy, your gastrointestinal specialist may go ahead and remove them in the course of the procedure.

When the procedure is complete, you will relax in a recovery area to allow the effects of the sedation to wear off. This may take up to an hour, depending on the amount of sedation administered and your individual reaction to it. You could feel groggy for the remainder of the day, making it important to have someone escort you home. It's also best to avoid anything strenuous or completing any essential documents during recovery. You will be given a printed report of your exam results and should be contacted by your GI specialist regarding any biopsy results often within about a week or so.

Colonoscopy exams really are a small time investment for the health advantages they provide. To hear more about what you can expect from your colonoscopy exam, reach out to a Texas Digestive Disease Consultants location within your community to meet with a board-certified provider who offers colonoscopies in DFW.

Does a colonoscopy carry any risks I should be aware of?

When it comes to risks, there is a small chance that some indications or issues (including colorectal growths) might not be immediately apparent during your colonoscopy results. It's vital to reach out to your GI doctor and inform them of any ongoing or new symptoms.

Additional potential risks affiliated with a colonoscopy involve puncturing of the large intestine, negative reaction to the sedative medication, or bleeding (in the event any polyps are removed). Keep in mind, however, that less than 1% of colonoscopy procedures incur complications, most of which are minor. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the potential risks associated with a colonoscopy, our Texas Digestive Disease Consultants providers will be glad to go over those with you.

Partner with a colonoscopy doctor in DFW

Given that colon and rectal cancer rates are trending upward in the younger adult population, the significance of receiving a colonoscopy to preserve your GI health cannot be overstated. If you are 45 or older or you have a heightened risk of developing colorectal cancer, please get in touch with the GI specialists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants to learn more about a colonoscopy screening. Take the initiative with your health and reach out to our DFW practice today.