Colonoscopy is a valuable method of diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the rectum and colon, including colorectal cancer. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois have considerable expertise in using a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer and other bowel diseases, saving thousands of lives every year. To arrange your screening exam or schedule a consultation, call Illinois Gastroenterology Group today or book an appointment online.
A colonoscopy is a tool the team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group uses to diagnose and treat conditions affecting your colon (large intestine) and rectum.
Your provider might recommend a colonoscopy if you have symptoms that could indicate colorectal disease, such as:
Colonoscopy is also vital in preventing the development of colorectal cancer, a leading cause of death in the United States. Colorectal screening can identify the small growths called polyps that can appear in your colon.
These polyps are most often harmless, but in some cases, they can mutate and cause cancer of the colon and rectum. Finding the polyps using colonoscopy enables your provider at Illinois Gastroenterology Group to remove them before they get a chance to become cancerous.
Men and women should have their first colonoscopy at the age of 50, and, if the test is normal, follow-up testing every 10 years.
You don’t need a general anesthetic for a colonoscopy, and it’s a reasonably straightforward outpatient procedure. Intravenous medication eases any discomfort and helps keep you relaxed.
Your provider inserts a flexible tube called a colonoscope into your anus. The colonoscope only measures an inch or so in diameter and has a tiny camera on the end with a light.
When the colonoscope is inside you, the lighted camera sends back live images that your provider uses to examine the tissues lining your colon. Colonoscopy shouldn’t be painful, but you might feel some unpleasant sensations such as:
If there are polyps present, your provider removes them using specialized instruments that they pass down the colonoscope. Sometimes they might need to take a tissue sample for laboratory analysis.
A colonoscopy can take between 15 and 60 minutes, after which you stay under observation until the sedative wears off. Your provider can discuss the results of the colonoscopy with you while you’re in recovery.
If you have any unexplained colorectal symptoms, or you want to arrange a colorectal cancer screening, call Illinois Gastroenterology Group today or book an appointment with the online tool.