Regular colonoscopy is one of the most powerful weapons against deadly colon cancer. In the past few decades, it has been instrumental in reducing the risk of dying from the disease by catching it at a very early stage. Dr. Rolando Saenz provides regular colonoscopy screenings for patients in and around Downtown, San Antonio, Texas, at his practice San Lucas Surgical Associates. He firmly believes in keeping patients well informed about benefits of this all-important cancer prevention tool. To learn more about the procedure, call the office to schedule an appointment today.
A colonoscopy is a short procedure that allows the physician to take a direct look at the inside of your rectum and large intestine to check for any abnormalities. Dr. Saenz gently eases a flexible, lighted tube called colonoscope about the thickness of a finger inside your large intestine. The tube has a camera attached to it that directly sends pictures from inside to a TV screen.
Colonoscopy is an excellent tool to screen for colorectal cancer, which is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. It is expected to cause about 50,630 deaths during 2018. Dr. Saenz recommends to start screening for colorectal cancer starting when you're at 45 years old.
However, thanks to the valuable screening colonoscopy offers, these numbers have declined by 67% in last few decades.
In addition to being used as a screening tool, colonoscopy may be recommended for other symptoms, including:
Contrary to popular belief, a colonoscopy itself is a simple, 30-minute procedure; the hardest part is cleaning your large intestines for proper visualization of its walls. You are required to take an oral laxative solution one to two days before the colonoscopy and may be asked not to eat or drink anything after 12 a.m. the day of the exam.
Once on the table, he provides you with sedation to help you relax and go to sleep. After you are comfortable, Dr. Saenz will gently insert the colonoscope into your large intestine and look for any abnormalities. If something is found, he takes a tissue sample for pathology examination.
You will need someone to drive you back home. There may be slight cramping or discomfort, which can be relieved by ambulation, heating pads, warm baths, warm liquids, and lying on your left side.
If your first colonoscopy results are normal, you can go for 5-7 years without another test. If something abnormal is detected, then depending on the diagnosis, you may require screening more frequently. Dr. Saenz discusses the results of your testing with you and advises accordingly.
Get started with this necessary screening procedure by calling an appointment with the board-certified colorectal surgeon Dr. Saenz at San Lucas Surgical Associates in San Antonio, Texas.