Are you afraid of having a colonoscopy? Many people feel ashamed and are not comfortable. This is because there are still several taboos and questions about the procedure. It is common, for example, to think that it hurts during the exam, but do not worry, it is all very simple and does not cause discomfort.
This process is very important for your health, since it is possible to diagnose serious and silent problems , which, if discovered early, have a great chance of cure, such as bowel cancer.
If you have doubts on the subject, check below the main information you need to know before having a colonoscopy.
What is colonoscopy?
This is an exam that allows images of the internal mucosa of the large and small intestine to be captured: rectum, colon and terminal ileum. It is done through a microcamera, introduced through the anus using a thin and flexible probe, called a colonoscope, and connected to a screen, on which the doctor can identify lesions, polyps and take samples for biopsy.
What diseases can be identified?
The exam is indicated by a proctologist to investigate the reason for some symptoms, such as:
- abdominal pain with no known cause;
- intestinal bleeding or blood in the stool;
- colon cancer;
- diarrhea or chronic constipation.
These can be indications of some pathologies such as cancer of the intestine, colon and rectum, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Adults from 50 years old must carry out the evaluation periodically, preventively.
What preparation is needed?
To perform it, it is essential that the doctor has a good view of the colon. Therefore, a few days before, it is recommended that the patient maintain a diet low in fiber and fat, in addition to the use of laxatives to eliminate feces and not make the procedure difficult.
It is recommended to stay at home the day before and drink plenty of water. Alcoholic beverages, milk, soda or any reddish liquid should be avoided, as they can hinder medical diagnosis.
How is colonoscopy done?
Despite being a simple method, it is necessary that the patient be sedated during its performance. He should lie on his side on a stretcher, while the doctor introduces the colonoscope through the anus and injects air to separate the mucosa and open the passage. In this way, it advances until it reaches the small intestine.
The exam is quick, usually takes less than an hour. However, the effect of sedation may be greater. Thus, the patient needs to be accompanied and cannot drive, operate machinery or work after the process.
What are the risks and side effects?
Every medical procedure presents a risk, but colonoscopy does not usually have serious complications. Some patients experience side effects such as gas, nausea, vomiting and irritation of the rectum, which usually ceases after 24 hours.
There are rarely serious problems like perforation of the intestine, resolved by surgery. The most common effects are reactions to the laxative or sedative, which can be overcome by administering medications .
Colonoscopy is a simple test used in the prevention and early identification of bowel cancer. You need to be aware of some signs of the body, such as abdominal pain and blood in the stool, warning signs for you to see a doctor.
It is always important to have the assistance of a professional specialized in men’s health. Want to know more? Find out when to look for a proctologist . It is able to treat diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.