Why Schedule an Initial Colonoscopy Screening?

initial colonoscopy

Among the most powerful ways of protecting your health against colorectal cancer early on is through periodic colon and rectal screenings. Unfortunately, just over half of eligible adults have not completed their initial colonoscopy procedure. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), individuals who have an average chance of developing colon cancer should have an initial screening at age 45.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that millions of people around the United States are not having their colon and rectal cancer screening tests as recommended, reducing the opportunity for diagnosing the disease early. To discover if you qualify for your first colonoscopy test, speak with the team at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates to schedule an appointment. Our exceptionally trained digestive health physicians routinely conduct colonoscopies for New Orleans, LA patients.

What should I know about having a colonoscopy procedure?

A colonoscopy is a type of colorectal cancer examination that involves a small, flexible instrument fitted with an attached camera. The device is positioned through the rectum and then into the colon by a Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates GI specialist to evaluate for polyps (growths) or other suspicious areas that might be present. When irregular tissue is found, it often can be removed during the procedure and then tested for pathology. Patients receive a fast-acting and safe sedative before the screening begins that will help them to undergo the process comfortably.

What happens after a colonoscopy?

When your first colonoscopy is finished and the sedation medication begins to dissipate, our New Orleans, LA medical team will discuss any results with you. In the event we do discover a condition that needs a more in-depth investigation, we will curate a detailed treatment strategy customized to your healthcare needs. We strongly suggest that you have a friend or family member escort you home following your appointment. After all sensations from the sedation have abated, you should be able to resume a normal diet and routine within 24 hours. Some individuals have a few minor post-procedure symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, gassiness, and bloating, for a few days. In the event you are affected by extreme discomfort, fever, or bleeding, please seek medical attention promptly.

How regularly should I have a colonoscopy procedure?

Experts recommend that those with an average chance of developing colon cancer begin to have screenings when they are 45 years old. Additional colonoscopy evaluations should take place every ten years until a person reaches 75. After age 75, each individual should talk with their GI specialist about the screening frequency optimal for their medical needs.

Are there other reasons to have routine colon screenings?

Although a colonoscopy screening can allow for the discovery of early colorectal cancer, the examination can also detect possible reasons behind additional digestive health concerns, such as chronic fluctuations in bowel movements (diarrhea and/or constipation), the causes of anorectal/abdominal discomfort, bleeding and anemia, abrupt inexplicable weight loss, and hemorrhoids. The highly skilled GI specialists at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates offer advanced, innovative technology and processes to detect and address many diseases of the digestive system.

Where can I schedule my first colonoscopy in New Orleans, LA?

Routine colon and rectal cancer screenings are the best way to detect the disease as early as possible. If you are 45 or older and carry an average risk of colon cancer, we encourage you to schedule your initial colonoscopy at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates soon. Get in touch with our staff today to schedule your colonoscopy consultation with one of our New Orleans, LA gastrointestinal specialists.