Disease - Conditions

Bhatti GI Blog

Each month we will post articles on various GI topics. We hope you will find our blog to be interesting and informative. Stop back often!

When is it Time to Schedule a Colonoscopy?

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.

Colonoscopy Procedure

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
  • Diarrhea
  • 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.

Preventative Colonoscopy

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.

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Colon Cancer Awareness

March was designated Colon Cancer Awareness Month in the year 2000 by President Bill Clinton. In the United States, Colon Cancer is the third most common cancer taking the lives of over 50,000 people each year. It affects both men and women of all ethnic groups and is most often found in people over the age of 50. Unfortunately, it can affect young people too.

Colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon or rectum develop errors in their DNA. These mutated cells – or cancer cells divide and grow to form a tumor. If left unchecked, the tumor (cancer) will continue to grow and destroy normal tissue – and can also travel to other parts of the body.

Colon Cancer Symptoms

There is no one specific cause for colon cancer, but there are certain risk factors including family history. Symptoms of the disease include:

  • A change in bowel behavior - including diarrhea or constipation that lasts for several weeks.
  • Bleeding from the rectum or blood in your stool
  • Persistent discomfort, such as stomach cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
  • Unexplained weight loss

The good news is that when discovered early, colon cancer is highly treatable. There are currently more than one million colon cancer survivors in the U.S.

A Colonoscopy can save your life. There are numerous types of colon cancer screening, but colonoscopy is the gold standard for detecting cancer of the colon and rectum. Screening should begin at age 50 -- or earlier if you have a family history. If you are 50 or older and have not yet had a colonoscopy, please remember that early detection can save lives. 

Chaska Colonoscopy Clinic

At Bhatti GI, we make getting a colonoscopy easy. Patients can be seen within a week and we offer pre-op physicals on the same day as your colonoscopy. Screening colonoscopy with no findings is covered by most insurance plans at no cost to the patient. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to schedule a colonoscopy, please call us at 952-368-3800.

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