Colon cancer is usually preventable with the help of a screening called a colonoscopy. In its early stages, colon cancer isn't easily identified through physical symptoms — in fact, it's often symptom-free early on. The team at Fifth Avenue GI is here to help East Harlem and Upper East Side, New York, patients discover — and beat — the signs of colon cancer early.
A colonoscopy is a test that looks for signs of colon cancer. This test can detect colon cancer in its earliest stages when it's still just a precancerous growth. A colonoscopy is currently the most effective tool available for colon cancer detection and prevention.
Our Fifth Avenue GI gastroenterologists recommend that most patients have their first colonoscopy at age 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer or if you've suffered from inflammatory bowel disease in the past, you may need to begin regular screenings as early as age 45. Your gastroenterologist will advise you regarding a screening schedule that's right for you.
Your Fifth Avenue GI gastroenterologist provides written pre-colonoscopy guidelines. You'll typically have to empty your bowels the day before your colonoscopy. That includes eating a clear liquid diet and avoiding any beverages with red or purple dyes.
You can have the following liquids:
You'll use a laxative the night before your colonoscopy. Doing so cleans the bowel out so your Fifth Avenue GI gastroenterologist can see your gastrointestinal tract clearly during the screening.
Give your gastroenterologist a full list of all your medications before the screening. You may have to discontinue some of them for at least a few days. Arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home following the colonoscopy. You can't drive after the procedure due to sedation.
You'll lie on your left side while under light anesthesia. You won't be in pain, and your gastroenterologist will closely monitor you during the entire procedure.
Your gastroenterologist inserts a colonoscope into your anus, moving it gently into the colon. The miniature camera inside the scope sends images to your gastroenterologist on a nearby screen. The procedure takes only around half an hour.
Is it time for your first colonoscopy or a follow-up screening? The gastroenterology team at Fifth Avenue GI is here to help. Make your appointment anytime through our online tool!