A colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum. During a colonoscopy, a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum; A small video camera at the end of the tube allows the doctor to see inside the entire colon.
If necessary, polyps or other types of abnormal tissue can be removed through the colonoscope during this procedure. Tissue samples called biopsies can also be taken, which allow a cellular analysis of the same to be carried out later.
Colonoscopy, When it’s made?
Investigate intestinal signs and symptoms. A colonoscopy can help your doctor explore possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, and other intestinal problems.
Analysis for colon cancer detection. The specialist can determine, based on the risk factors of each patient, if a colonoscopy is necessary, since it allows, through the extraction of biopsies, to perform reliable tests for the detection of cancer cells.
Look for more polyps. If the specialist has identified polyps, he or she will recommend a follow-up colonoscopy to look for and remove them. This is done to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
How to prepare?
Before a colonoscopy, the specialist will give you instructions regarding the care and preparation prior to the study, this care will allow you to obtain a clear internal visualization of the organs.
The specialist will determine which ones are required, in such a way that they will all be supervised, do not perform any of these steps without the doctor telling you:
Special diet the day before the exam. Usually, you will not be able to eat solid food the day before the test. Beverages may be limited to clear liquids: plain water, tea and coffee without milk or cream, broth, and carbonated beverages. Avoid red liquids, which can be mistaken for blood during the colonoscopy. You may not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight before the test.
Use of laxative. The doctor will issue a medical order with a laxative product. It will tell you the correct way to use it and the date it is taken based on the day your imaging study is scheduled.
If the doctor considers it necessary for the type of study, he will send an enema kit. In some cases, you may need to use an over-the-counter enema kit (the night before or a few hours before the exam) to empty the colon. This is generally only effective when emptying the lower part of the colon and is not generally recommended as the main way to cleanse the colon.
That you make adjustments in medications. Remind your doctor of any medications you take at least a week before the test, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems, or if you take medications or supplements that contain iron.