To examine, diagnose and treat a problem in your colon – or large intestine – your physician at Tidelands Health may use a colonoscopy.
What a Colonoscopy Involves
A colonoscopy is a common procedure. Watch this helpful video from our Tidelands Health library to learn more on how a colonoscopy is performed.
During a colonoscopy, a specially trained doctor called a gastroenterologist inserts a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera into your large intestine. The camera shows whether your colon has abnormalities such as inflammation, tumors or potentially cancerous clumps called polyps. When physicians know the health of your large intestine, they recommend follow-up care that helps you protect your well-being.
Quick, Pain-Free Procedure
Before a colonoscopy at Tidelands Health, you’ll take a sedative to help you relax. You’ll also receive anesthesia to prevent pain, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure. And because we use advanced technology, your colonoscopy will take as little time as possible – which means you’ll return home soon.
Prevent and Detect Colon Cancer
If your colonoscopy reveals polyps, your doctor will remove them during the procedure. Eliminating the unusual growths may prevent cancer. But if your polyps show that the disease has already developed, your doctor will advise you about treatment that helps you maintain the best possible health.
When Should I Get a Screening?
Detecting colon cancer early improves your odds of a good outcome. That’s why you should get a colonoscopy when you turn 50 and continue screening every 10 years – even if you don’t notice signs of intestinal conditions.
You may need testing earlier than age 50 and more often if you have:
- Close relatives who’ve experienced colorectal cancer
- Genetic conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- A personal history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer
Diagnosing and Treating Intestinal Conditions
In addition to screening for cancer, colonoscopies help your doctor determine what’s causing your abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or diarrhea. When you get an accurate diagnosis, your Tidelands Health physician will plan treatment that’s designed to relieve your symptoms and improve your well-being.