Colonoscopy – When To Need One


We have the tendency to worry a lot.   We feel pain, we think something is wrong, but we choose to ignore and put icing on the cake just to cover things up, until one day we wake up and we can no longer bear the pain and the discomfort we are feeling inside.   That’s the time when we are going to panic and decide to see the doctor.

Stop worrying because modern medicine has a lot to offer in order to check what really is wrong with your body.

The colonoscopy procedure is a proven efficient and accurate exam in determining colon and rectal cancer.   Many lives have been spared because of early detection and proper treatment.


Why Have A Colonoscopy

A person is advised to undergo colonoscopy to investigate his bowel signs and symptoms appropriately.  It can aid the doctor in exploring the cause of his abdominal pain, bleeding, severe constipation or diarrhea, among other problems.

It is also a screening tool for colon cancer.

When you have a history of colon polyps, the doctor recommends that you have a repeat colonoscopy performed to make sure there are no more polyps to be removed.   They remove polyps to reduce your risk of having colon cancer.


When To Have A Colonoscopy


Whether you’re feeling something is wrong or you feel perfectly healthy, the doctor suggests to have a colonoscopy at the age of 50, considering that you are without a family history of colon cancer, personal history of colorectal symptoms, polyps, or inflammatory bowel disease.  The same is advisable for men and women because they can be affected equally.

If the colonoscopy result is negative, meaning you don’t have any risk factors, it should be repeated in ten years.   If you turn out to have low-risk (one or two small) adenomas removed, you should have a followup in five to ten years.

Ask your doctor how often you should have a colonoscopy if you have a family history of colon cancer or family history of high-risk adenomas, or you got a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease.

Once you are above 75 years of age, usually there’s no need to have routine checks.


What Are The Risks

Postprocedure colonoscopy can have some complications

  • Bleeding from the site where the doctor performed the biopsy or polyp removal. Bleeding during the procedure can be treated right away, but sometimes there is delayed bleeding which can be up to 2 weeks postprocedure.  A repeat colonoscopy may be needed to diagnose and treat late bleeding.
  • Perforation of the colon or rectum wall. Doctors can address the tear with surgery.
  • Adverse reaction from anesthesia used during the procedure.
  • Severe abdominal pain.
  • Death (but rare).

Statistics reveal that there are about 4 to 8 acute complication occurrences in every 10,000 procedures.


See Your Doctor Immediately And Do Not Delay!


Status post colonoscopy, once you noticed symptoms of severe pain in the abdomen, fever, bloody bowel movement that is not clearing, persistent blood in the anus, dizziness, and weakness, be sure to seek care from your doctor right away.

Remember to have a regular colonoscopy once you reach the age of 50, or when you suspect something is wrong with you.

It doesn’t always have to be too late.