Colonoscopy in Texas

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A colonoscopy is an endoscopic examination where a long, slender, flexible instrument called a "scope" is inserted into the rectum and navigated throughout the colon (large intestine). This scope is equipped with a light and camera, enabling the physician to closely inspect the colon's lining. The procedure is utilized to determine the causes of gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain, or unusual x-ray findings.

Additionally, a colonoscopy can be conducted on patients who show no symptoms, typically starting at age 45 or earlier based on the individual's medical history, to screen for colon cancer and polyps. It stands as the sole preventive measure for colorectal cancer. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants frequently carry out these examinations. To find out more, please get in touch with a clinic in Texas near you.

What are the benefits of a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopies are paramount in the prevention of colon cancer, making them essential for those over 45 or who are at an elevated risk for the disease, as advised by their physician. These screenings are vital for both gastrointestinal and overall health. The benefits of undergoing regular colonoscopy screenings include:

  • Early detection of initial signs of colon and rectal cancer
  • Identification and removal of abnormal growths
  • Diagnosis of diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other conditions
  • Serving as the most effective method for screening for colon and/or rectal cancer
  • Potentially saving lives

Advancements in technology have made colorectal cancer screenings quicker, more comfortable, and more precise than ever before.

Prior to your colonoscopy, you will receive detailed preparation instructions from your physician at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants. Most patients need to adhere to a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure. You will be provided with various laxative options to thoroughly cleanse your colon, and it is crucial to follow these preparation instructions carefully. Additionally, there will be specific guidelines regarding your current medications. Typically, you can continue most medications as normal, but there may be exceptions, particularly for patients on blood thinners (such as Coumadin, warfarin, Plavix, aspirin, or anti-inflammatories) and those with diabetes, who will receive special instructions. Patients are generally advised not to consume anything by mouth after midnight, except for medications.

You should arrive at the endoscopy center of your local Texas Digestive Disease Consultants facility 1 to 1.5 hours before your scheduled exam to complete the necessary paperwork and prepare. Upon arrival, you will change into a medical gown, and an intravenous (IV) line will be placed in your arm for the administration of sedation. Monitoring equipment will be connected to track your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, respiration, and oxygen levels during and after the procedure.

In the examination room, you'll lie on your left side on the stretcher. Sedation will be administered incrementally to ensure it is tailored to your specific needs and safety. After achieving the appropriate level of sedation, the physician will conduct a rectal examination and then carefully insert the colonoscope into your rectum. The scope will be advanced throughout the colon up to the junction of the small bowel and colon. A small amount of air may be introduced through the scope to enhance visibility. Any residual fluid in the colon can be flushed and vacuumed out via the scope.

Throughout the procedure, the physician might perform various interventions such as biopsies, polyp removal, or manage any bleeding. After the procedure, excess air and fluids will be removed from the colon using the scope. The duration of the exam generally ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on what is found during the procedure.

Following your colonoscopy, you will be moved to the recovery area where you will be closely monitored as the effects of the sedation diminish. The speed of your recovery will depend on the amount of sedation administered and how your body reacts to it. Typically, patients are alert enough to go home within 45 to 60 minutes.

You should not drive for the remainder of the day, so it's important to arrange transportation home. You will be advised to avoid working, signing important documents, or engaging in heavy physical activity for the rest of the day. Most patients can resume normal eating and drinking after leaving the Endoscopy unit, but you will receive specific guidelines about activities, diet, and medications before you leave.

Your doctor and/or nurse will review the findings of the colonoscopy with you post-exam. Due to the sedative effects, you may not recall the discussion, so it is advisable to have someone accompany you who can also be informed about the results. Additionally, you will receive a written report of the findings to take home. Any results from biopsies are typically available within a week.

Are there alternatives to a colonoscopy?

The alternatives to a colonoscopy largely depend on the reasons for the examination. While a colonoscopy is generally the most effective method for assessing and addressing colon abnormalities and is the only preventative measure against colorectal cancer, there are other diagnostic tools available. These include x-ray techniques such as a barium enema and virtual CT scans. However, these methods are primarily diagnostic and do not allow for the direct treatment of findings; any abnormalities detected typically require a follow-up with either a colonoscopy or surgical intervention for treatment.

Colonoscopies are generally considered to be very safe, with complications arising in fewer than 1% of all procedures, most of which are non-life-threatening. Before the examination, you will discuss and sign a consent form with the nursing staff, where any questions or concerns can be addressed with your physician.

There are possible risks related to the sedation used during the procedure, including allergic reactions, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular effects, and irritation at the injection site.

During the procedure, there is a risk of bleeding, especially if biopsies are taken, or polyps are removed. Significant bleeding that might necessitate a blood transfusion or hospitalization is rare but can occur immediately during the exam or within two weeks following the procedure.

Perforation, or a puncture of the colon, is another potential risk, which might be detected during the examination or become apparent later. This complication generally requires surgical intervention and hospitalization, although it is also rare, even in cases where polyps are removed.

It is critical to contact your doctor immediately if you experience worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever after the procedure.

While colonoscopies are highly effective, they are not infallible; there is a small, accepted risk that certain abnormalities, including polyps and cancers, may not be detected. It is crucial to maintain regular follow-ups with your provider at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants and report any new or ongoing symptoms.

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When should you schedule a colonoscopy?

We recommend that individuals with an average risk of colon cancer begin having colonoscopy exams at age 45. If your chances for developing colon cancer are higher or you have concerning signs of colon cancer, our GI specialists might recommend a colonoscopy before that age.

How often should you have a colonoscopy?

Doctors suggest getting colonoscopies every ten years for those of average risk, who have favorable health, and when they have colonoscopy results that reveal no concerns. Following your colon cancer screening, your GI doctor will inform you of how often you should undergo colonoscopies moving forward.

Is a colonoscopy a painful procedure?

Sedation is administered before a colonoscopy to help ensure your comfort level during the exam. Depending on the type of sedation given, you may reach an intensely relaxed state and even feel sleepy. Many individuals have little to no recollection of the procedure. When you visit for a consultation, do not hesitate to ask your colonoscopy doctor what to expect during the exam.

What is the average recovery time following a colonoscopy exam?

It usually takes about 24 hours to recuperate after a colonoscopy screening. Many people can resume their regular routine the next day. When colorectal polyps are identified and removed, the recovery time will likely last about a week. It is common to have abdominal discomfort after a colonoscopy exam, such as bloating and cramping. Our Texas Digestive Disease Consultants providers will give you further information on what to anticipate during recovery.

Regarded as the "gold standard" for colon cancer screening, a colonoscopy not only inspects the entire colon but also allows for the removal of polyps in a single procedure, a capability not offered by many other screening methods. If other tests indicate the presence of polyps, a colonoscopy will likely be necessary afterward. To schedule a colonoscopy at your Texas location or learn more about the procedure, contact Texas Digestive Disease Consultants today. Regular screenings are a proactive step that could potentially save your life.

Had colonoscopy and endoscopy both went well. Would recommend Dr. Jan Prazak

P.S. Google

I went to Dr Womeldorph on Tuesday 07/18/23 for my colonoscopy. From the receptionist to ALL of his nurse’s and the anesthesiologist, and Dr Womeldorph, made me feel like I was the only one important to be taken care of that day (and I knew they were busy) however it felt so good the way I was treated! I would recommend Dr Womeldorph and his “team” to anyone that wants excellent, exceptional service & care!!!

B.K. Google

I had a great experience with Dr. Mansour. I was a first time colonoscopy patient and I was a little nervous, but hey we need to take care of our health. This clinic was really awesome to deal with. The doc was great, Andrew the nurse practitioner is super informative. I felt like both clinicians listened to my issues and gave me sound medical advice. I highly recommend from another healthcare provider.

T.T. Google

This was my third procedure with Dr. Bolin, and especially given the nature (colonoscopy), it went very well. Dr. Bolin demonstrates genuine care and concern for me every time, explains things to me in plain English (without talking down to me), and patiently answers all of my questions. He is thorough, professional, personable, and has a friendly, easygoing manner. I highly recommend him!

L.H. Google

My consultation was very useful in determining the need for a colonoscopy. Dr Chung explained with simplicity and ensured I understood all.

P.G. Google


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