Visiting the doctor when you aren't ill can seem inconvenient and unnecessary. However, it's through these routine checkups that problems can be detected early and treatments can be easier and less invasive. If you're over the age of 50 or have a history of bowel cancer in your family, a routine colonoscopy should be at the top of your to-do list. Our team of physicians at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates in Suffolk County, NY explain why colonoscopies are so important and what's involved in the process.
Why are colonoscopies important?
Not all cancers produce obvious symptoms in their early stages. Colorectal cancer is no exception to this; it can progress to later stages before it shows any concerning signs. At this point, it can be very difficult to treat and may have spread to other parents of the body. However, medical technology has advanced to the point where cancer can be detected in earlier and more treatable stages through the use of screenings. In short, regular colonoscopies, performed by your Suffolk County gastroenterologist, could save your life.
What's involved in a colonoscopy?
After consulting with your Suffolk County gastroenterologist, your colonoscopy will be performed in a hospital environment under mild anesthesia; you will feel drowsy and likely not remember much of the procedure, so you'll need someone to drive you home afterward. As you lie on your side, a lighted tube will be inserted into the rectum and will allow your doctor to take a variety of pictures and then view the results on a monitor. The entire procedure takes between 20 and 60 minutes. If there are any areas of concern, your gastroenterologist will follow up with you.
If you need to schedule a colonoscopy, the team of physicians at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates in Suffolk County, NY will be happy to help you. Contact our office today for an appointment.