Most people have a general understanding of what a colonoscopy is, but many have no idea when they should get one. The truth is that colonoscopies can be helpful in a variety of situations. In this article, we are going to talk about how to determine when it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy.
First, let’s talk briefly about the colonoscopy procedure itself and why it’s important. A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a colonoscope (a small tube with a camera attached) is inserted into the patient’s colon. The procedure can be performed as a preventative measure (to detect and prevent colon cancer, for example), or to investigate the cause of a specific symptom, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool
- Change in bowel habits
- Abnormalities found on x-rays or CT scans
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, a colonoscopy may be a good diagnostic tool for determining the root cause of the symptoms you are experiencing.
Even if you are not experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, a colonoscopy may still be useful as a preventative measure. Typically, it’s a good rule of thumb to schedule a colonoscopy for colon cancer screening starting at age 50, and every 10 years after that if no abnormalities are discovered. If the initial colonoscopy reveals any polyps or other abnormalities, follow up colonoscopies may be recommended every 5-10 years.
If you have a family history of colon cancer, it may be a good idea to schedule your colonoscopy before you turn 50 as a preventative measure.
Schedule Your Colonoscopy Today!
If you have any questions about when to schedule your colonoscopy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at Bhatti GI. Dr. Bhatti has been performing colonoscopies for more than 20 years, and has completed over 40,000 surgical procedures during his time in practice. Contact Bhatti GI today to schedule your colonoscopy procedure at our Chaska or Edina clinic - 952-368-3800.