Colon and rectal cancer are the third most commonly diagnosed cancers. As a preventative measure, doctors recommend that men and women over the age of 50 have a colonoscopy every 10 years, unless family history or other issues require more frequent testing (www.ccalliance.org). If you are 50 years old or older and need to have a colonoscopy in Sarasota, Florida, come see the doctors at Intercoastal Medical Group. Our gastroenterologists will answer all of your questions and make you feel at ease about your procedure.
What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure where a thin, flexible tube with a camera attached is used to examine the lining of your large intestine. Doctors use colonoscopies to search for possible causes of abdominal pain, bloody stool, or to check for colorectal cancer. It can also help find ulcers, polyps, and inflammation. During the test, doctors can take tissue samples and remove abnormal growths in the intestine.
How to Prepare for the Procedure
Preparing for a colonoscopy can seem like a grueling process and if it’s your first, it can be confusing. Everyone’s experience is different, so for the best possible experience, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Here are a few tips to help you have a successful colonoscopy.
- Ask about different preps. There are several types of preps available, and your doctor may prefer one over another based on past experience with cancelled procedures due to insufficient preps. Discuss with your doctor all your options and choose the one you are most comfortable with.
- Stay home. You will want to be near a bathroom for the duration of the prep as it causes frequent, loose stools.
- Don’t Eat. The prep is designed to clear out your colon, so eating solid foods defeats the purpose of the prep. While you can’t eat solid foods, you can consume clear liquids, such as broth.
- No artificial colors. Red, purple and orange food coloring may linger in the intestinal track making it appear redder than it really is causing a misdiagnosis of inflamed intestines.
Intercoastal Medical Group has two gastroenterology locations in the area – Cattlemen: (941) 342-8892 and Lakewood Ranch: (941) 362-8662. Contact us when you need to schedule a colonoscopy in Saraosta or request an appointment online.