Colonoscopy is a safe, effective method of examining the full lining of the colon and rectum using a long, flexible, tubular instrument. It is used to diagnose colon and rectum problems and to perform biopsies and remove colon polyps, which is an important step in the prevention of colon cancer. Colonoscopy is more accurate than an x-ray exam of the colon to detect polyps or early cancer. Colonoscopy is recommended for adults 50 years of age or older as part of a colon cancer screening program, or your physician may recommend a colonoscopy exam if you have specific symptoms or risk factors.
At ECLI, colonoscopies are done on an outpatient basis. Our physicians and registered nurses are trained to perform colonoscopy with minimal discomfort to you.
A colonoscopy may be necessary to:
- Investigate unexplained abdominal symptoms
- Check inflammatory bowel disease (colitis)
- Verify findings of polyps or tumors located with a barium enema exam
- Evaluate rectal bleeding or anemia
- Examine patients who test positive for blood in the stool
- Monitor patients with a personal or family history of colon polyps or cancer
How is colonoscopy performed?
The bowel must first be thoroughly cleared of all residue before a colonoscopy. This is done one to two days before the exam with a preparation prescribed by your physician. At ECLI, patients receive intravenous sedation while undergoing the colonoscopy and the entire procedure usually takes less than an hour. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and is advanced to the portion of the colon where the small intestine joins the colon. During a complete examination of the bowel, your physician will remove polyps or take biopsies as necessary. Following the colonoscopy, there may be slight discomfort, which quickly improves with the expelling of gas. Most patients can resume their regular diet soon after the procedure. Patients are advised against driving until the following day.
What are the benefits of colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is more accurate than an x-ray exam of the colon to detect polyps or early cancer. With colonoscopy, it is now possible to detect and remove most polyps without abdominal surgery. Removing polyps is an important step in the prevention of colon cancer.
What are the risks of colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a very safe procedure with complications occurring in less than 1% of patients. These risks can include bleeding, a tear in the intestine, risks of anesthesia and failure to detect a polyp.
Endoscopy Center of Long Island (ECLI) provides a full range of clinical services, which include: