At Advanced Gastrointestinal Specialists, we deliver prompt results from colonoscopy screenings. A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a scope to view the inside lining of the entire colon. Our GI doctors in Voorhees, Washington Township, and West Deptford, NJ use a specialized endoscope to screen for colorectal cancer, identify and remove precancerous polyps, and diagnose other diseases of the large intestine and rectum.
Colon Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer is one of the nation’s leading cancers, often starting as a benign tumor or polyp, a small growth that projects out from the inside lining of the colon. Colon cancer occurs when cells in the interior lining of the colon or large intestine grow abnormally and out of control.
Not all polyps turn into cancer. Polyps that turn into cancer typically take several years to do so. In most cases, there are few or no symptoms of colon cancer until the disease is advanced. For this reason, screening for colon cancer is imperative. It allows polyps to be detected early, which may prevent the development of cancer. Removal of colon polyps and early diagnosis is crucial. The “gold standard” for early detection is colonoscopy. Studies have shown that colonoscopy can detect over 98% of significant colorectal tumors.
What to Expect During a Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure. You will be sedated for the procedure and need someone to drive you home. Prior to the colonoscopy, you will be on a clear liquid diet and take a bowel prep to clean out your intestines for the procedure. Colon prep takes 1 to 2 days, depending on which type of prep your doctor recommends. Please see our procedure instructions for more information on how to prepare for your colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is performed with an endoscope, a long, thin tube with a light and a viewing instrument that sends images to a monitor. The scope allows a doctor to examine the inside of your colon for cancer, polyps, and digestive or inflammatory disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It is helpful for determining the cause of bleeding, pain, or changes in bowel habits.
Additionally, a scope is used for taking photographs, obtaining tissue samples for biopsy, surgically removing polyps, or performing specialized laser surgeries.
You can watch a video of the procedure here:
Our gastroenterologists will interpret your results and advise whether any further treatment is needed. Call the South Jersey office of Advanced Gastrointestinal Specialists nearest you, or request an appointment online today.