Why Would My Gastroenterologist Decide to Perform a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy allows the gastroenterologist to look inside the entire large intestine to detect inflamed tissue, abnormal growth, and ulcers. It also permits the physician to biopsy tissue, remove polyps, and is most often used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms associated with a colon disease or disorder, your doctor may want to take a closer look at what is causing the issue. A colonoscopy is often times the best way to diagnosis or rule out a serious issue or complication. Blair Gastroenterology Associates specializes in colonoscopy procedures and would be happy to accommodate your need for this type of testing. Please be sure to contact our office or speak to your primary care doctor today about referring you to one of our specialists.

Blair Gastroenterology Associates Recommends Proper Colon Cancer Screenings and Preventative Care

It is recommended that a healthy adult with no family history of colon cancer have their first colonoscopy at age 50. If colon cancer runs in your family, a screening may be done at an even earlier age. Your primary care physician or your gastroenterologist will determine the best time for you to receive this test. If you have concerns or know that colon cancer runs in your family, be sure to discuss these concerns with your doctor or call our office to speak to one of our specialists. Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and Pennsylvanians have the 13th highest death rate for colon cancer in the country. We know that these statistics can seem frightening, but getting tested can help you avoid becoming a statistic. We usually don’t know the exact reason why one individual gets colon cancer and another does not, however we do know that there are certain risk factors associated with the development of this deadly disease. We also know that colon cancer is highly preventable when we follow the guidelines for the prevention of this disease.

What Can I Expect During My Colonoscopy?

A licensed CRNA will sedate you for the procedure. Sedation will be provided at a comfortable level according to each patient’s needs. The physician will then insert a flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a colonoscope (or scope.) The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon onto a video screen so that the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. Recovery time following the procedure will be brief; you will be fully awake when you leave our facility and you will receive complete discharge instructions prior to going home. After the procedure, the physician will meet with you and discuss the findings, and you’ll receive a copy of the operative report at the time of your discharge. If any biopsies are taken during the procedure, you will be notified of the results within seven to ten days, and a copy of the report will be forwarded to your primary care physician.

Preparing for your Colonoscopy

Prior to having your colonoscopy, you will receive a written schedule on how to adjust your medications in the days or weeks prior to the procedure. One to two days prior to the procedure, you will have to do a colon prep, which will involve cleaning out your colon. You will be on a clear liquid diet and usually have to take a laxative. Plan on staying home and nearby a bathroom on the day of your prep. When you come in for the procedure, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and avoid wearing any jewelry. You must have a driver bring you to and from the procedure. Your stay for the colonoscopy will be from one and a half to three hours.

Where Will My Colonoscopy Be Performed

Allegheny Regional Endoscopy is in the adjunct suite beside the Blair Gastroenterology Offices and shares the same reception area. Allegheny Regional Endoscopy, accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, is the regional expert and trusted authority in preforming this service. Our state-of-the-art facility is licensed in the state of Pennsylvania as an Ambulatory Surgical Facility specializing in endoscopic procedures (EGD and Colonoscopy.) Some services are also offered at UPMC Altoona and UPMC Bedford Hospitals.