Colonoscopy is recommended for all patients, age 50 and older, as a method of colon cancer screening and prevention. In certain high-risk individuals who have a family history of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, it is recommended to start at age 40 or even sooner depending on the case. The procedure is preformed using a colonoscope, a long flexible tube that permits visualization of the lining of the large bowel. The instrument is inserted via the rectum and guided through the length of the colon. If the doctor sees a suspicious area, a biopsy can be done to make a diagnosis. Polyps, which can be pre-cancerous can be successfully removed during the procedure.
Colonoscopy is a valuable tool for the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions within the large intestine, including:
Specific instructions will be provided to you regarding cleansing the bowel in anticipation of the colonoscopy examination. It is very important that the instructions be followed as outlined in order to ensure a well-prepared colon.