What Is a Colonoscopy and Why Would You Need One?

For many people, getting a colonoscopy in Ventura, CA, is something they dread. It may not be the most pleasant test in the world, but it can save your life. Island View Gastroenterology Associates with offices in Ventura, and Oxnard, CA, is a comprehensive gastroenterology practice with experienced gastroenterologists who offer colonoscopies and many other GI services. 

The Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that is performed by your gastroenterologist. It is scheduled routinely for those who are at risk for colon cancer and if you have symptoms of any other condition that affects the colon. Before going in for this procedure, you must empty your colon and this requires drinking laxatives. Once your colonoscopy is scheduled, you will get detailed instructions to follow before the procedure. 

You have to limit your intake during the prep time and, if you're lucky, you will have an early morning procedure. You will be given an IV with something to relax you. Not only that, you will lie on your side and likely wake up when the procedure is over. A colonoscope which has a flexible tube with a video camera will be inserted into the rectum and will be able to examine the colon. If polyps are discovered they will be removed and sent to be biopsied. 

When you wake up, you will rest a bit, get dressed and then have someone drive you home. 

Reasons for a Colonoscopy

Many conditions may require that you have a colonoscopy. It can be used to help with the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions including ulcerated colitis, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, and, of course, as a preventative measure for colon cancer. The American Cancer Society has lowered their recommendation for the first colonoscopy for people of average risk to 45 years due to the increase in the number of cases in younger people. 

If you are at high risk, your GI doctor may recommend you get your first colonoscopy as early as forty or even earlier, depending on what the family history is. As a result of what is discovered during the colonoscopy, it may be suggested that you have another in anywhere from 3-10 years. 

When you need to schedule your colonoscopy, contact Island View Gastroenterology Associates with offices in Ventura, and Oxnard, CA. You can reach us on the phone at 805-641-6525 for the Ventura office, or (805) 973-1227 for Oxnard.

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