Colonoscopy and Upper Endoscopy

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Colonoscopy and Upper Endoscopy

Colonoscopy is an essential diagnostic tool for conditions like colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The board-certified Arizona Preferred Surgeons team in Glendale, Arizona, has an outpatient colonoscopy facility, offering patients convenient access to this potentially life-saving procedure. Call their office today or book an appointment online to learn more about colonoscopy and why you should choose Arizona Preferred Surgeons.

Colonoscopy and Upper Endoscopy Q & A

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the Arizona Preferred Surgeons team to view the inside of your colon (large bowel) and rectum. It uses a tool called a colonoscope —a flexible tube equipped with a tiny lighted camera. The colonoscope can go all the way along your colon to the start of your small intestine.

You get a sedative when you have a colonoscopy so that you feel sleepy and relaxed. The procedure shouldn’t be painful, so you don’t need an anesthetic. You lie on a treatment table on your side with your knees bent toward your chest.

Your provider carefully inserts the colonoscope into your anus. They gradually move it forward until the instrument reaches your small intestine. Your provider inserts air through the colonoscope to give them a better view of the tissues.

They might take tissue samples (biopsies) during your colonoscopy. If there are polyps in your colon or rectum, your Arizona Preferred Surgeons provider removes them. Polyps aren’t cancerous to begin with, but they can become so, so removing them prevents colon cancer from developing.

Why would I need a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy can help diagnose symptoms like:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Anemia due to low iron
  • Blood in your stool
  • Black, tarry stools

Your doctor might recommend a colonoscopy if you have these symptoms and they can’t determine its cause.

Colonoscopy is also a vital screening tool for colorectal cancer. You should undergo a screening every 10 years, beginning at age 50. You might need to start earlier and have them more often if you have any risk factors for colorectal cancer, like a family history of the disease.

If you’ve had polyps or colorectal cancer before or you have inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), you might need a colonoscopy more frequently.

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

For a clear view during a colonoscopy, your bowel must be completely empty and clean. Your Arizona Preferred Surgeons provider will advise you on how to empty your bowel. Preparation includes using strong laxatives, not eating solid foods for several days before the test, and drinking plenty of clear liquids.

What might a colonoscopy find?

The conditions that colonoscopy diagnoses include:

  • Diverticulitis (infected intestinal pouches)
  • Areas of bleeding
  • Cancer in your colon or rectum
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Infection

Your provider will discuss the findings with you after your colonoscopy. If they take biopsies, they contact you when the lab results return.

Call Arizona Preferred Surgeons today or book an appointment online to learn more about colonoscopy or arrange a screening exam.