Debunking Common Myths About A Colonoscopy

While a colonoscopy is hardly the most enjoyable activity, many people let misconceptions or myths affect their feelings towards the preventative procedure. We want every patient to partake in their regular screening exam because it can significantly increase the likelihood of successful treatment if an issue is found, and we don’t want misconceptions and falsehoods to push people away from the procedure. With that in mind, we wanted to use today’s blog to debunk some common myths about the colonoscopy procedure.

Dispelling Myths About Colonoscopies

Here’s a look at some common myths about the colonoscopy procedure, and why these ideas are rooted in misconceptions and falsehoods.

  1. You Only Need A Colonoscopy If You’re Having Symptoms – Some people think that they don’t need to undergo a colonoscopy unless they are experiencing symptoms of a colon issue. This simply isn’t true, and the reason for this is that the early stages of colon cancer are oftentimes asymptomatic. By the time they start causing symptoms, treatment success likelihood drops. You need regular screenings even if your not experiencing symptoms so that little problems can be caught and treated before they become a major concern.
  2. Colonoscopies Can Cause Problems – No surgery is perfectly safe 100 percent of the time, but colonoscopies are very safe compared to a lot of other surgical operations. 1 in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime, but only 1 in 1,000 patients will experience a colon perforation during their colonoscopy, so the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.
  3. A Less Invasive At-Home Test Is Fine – Some companies offer colon cancer screening by having you collect a stool sample and sending it to their office for testing. These can catch some forms of cancer, but they simply are nowhere near as effective as an in-person colonoscopy. Talk with your primary care physician and your gastrointestinal specialist to figure out the best testing for you, especially if you have certain risk factors or family history.
  4. The Prep Period Is Rough – Preparing for a colonoscopy has become much less uncomfortable in recent years. The prep solution you need to drink has been getting smaller, and there are a number of different add-ins that you can mix into the solution to make the taste more pleasant. Taking the day off and staying at home can also make it easier for you to get to the toilet in the event that the solution effectively clears out your digestive system as intended.
  5. The Procedure Is Painful – The procedure is hardly ever described as painful by the patient, especially considering they can be sedated during the procedure. Most patients experience mild discomfort at worst, and the majority of patients realize that everything went smoother than expected once all is said and done. Don’t shy away from the procedure because you think it will be painful, because we do everything in our power to make you as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process.

Don’t let misconceptions keep you from getting the preventative care that you need, because a colonoscopy could save your life! For more information about the procedure, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Bhatti and his team, reach out to Bhatti GI Consultants today at (952) 368-3800.