Your gastroenterologist in Weslaco and Edinburg, TX, Dr. S Murthy Badiga, performs many colonoscopies each year at Renaissance Gastroenterology. Known as an accurate way to screen adults for colon cancer, a routine colonoscopy is relatively quick and comfortable, giving the physician an excellent "look" into the entire large intestine through the anus and rectum.
If you have a question about the colonoscopy, you'll likely find the answer in the following list of Frequently Asked Questions prepared by our staff. At Renaissance Gastroenterology, Dr. Badiga wants all his patients informed on their conditions, medications and procedures as he partners with them in achieving optimal health.
Just what is a colonoscopy?
During a colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a flexible, lighted tube via the anus and rectum to view the interior of the large intestine. The tube contains a miniature camera which transfers live color images of the colon to a monitor in the treatment room.
Why is a colonoscopy important?
Not only can a colonoscopy detect the reasons for intestinal bleeding or recurring diarrhea, it is the preferred screening tool for colon cancer. Colon cancer kills more than 50 thousand Americans annually, says the American Cancer Society. Caught early, however, it's curable.
Who should have this test?
Both men and women beginning at age 50 should get a baseline test and then every 10 years thereafter unless polyps or other irregularities are discovered. Some studies suggest that African-Americans start screening at age 45.
Does a colonoscopy hurt?
There may be some mild cramping during the examination. However, Dr. Badiga says most patients remain very comfortable during and after the procedure.
Is there a special prep?
Yes, a colonoscopy requires a clear liquid diet (water, clear juices and broths) the day before you go to Renaissance Gastroenterology. Your gastroenterologist in Weslaco and Edinburg also will advise you on special colon cleansers and laxatives to take the night before your test. This preparation ensures Dr. Badiga gets the clearest images possible. In addition, you should not take blood thinners or aspirin within a specified time before your exam. Dr. Badiga will review your medications and tell you what medications to avoid.
Do I need anesthesia?
Most patients receive an oral tranquilizer right before their colonoscopy. This medication relaxes the individual, and he or she may even drift off to sleep during the 30 to 45 minute test. A friend or loved one drives the patient home afterwards.
What happens if the doctor sees a polyp or other suspect area?
Dr. Badiga removes the polyp and takes a tissue sample for biopsy. Biopsy tells the nature of the polyp--non-cancerous, pre-cancerous or cancerous.
Are there complications to this procedure?
Bowel perforation and bleeding are possible, though rare.
Do I need a colonoscopy?
If you are 50 or older and wish to know the health status of your GI tract, the answer is yes. Please contact Renaissance Gastroenterology for an appointment with Dr. Badiga in Weslaco and Edinburg, TX. His compassionate manner and skill will put you at ease regarding this important health assessment. Call (956) 362-ENDO.