A colonoscopy is a lower endoscopy procedure that allows Dr. Bahamonde to visually examine the inside of your large intestine (colon). During a colonoscopy, Dr. Bahamonde uses a flexible scope with an attached camera to look for anything abnormal in your lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
The scope goes into your rectum and travels into your colon while sending real-time images to an external monitor. Dr. Bahamonde watches the monitor to identify things like colonic polyps and inflammation.
If the doctor finds suspicious tissue or polyps, she can remove them during the same procedure by inserting tiny surgical tools through the colonoscope.
A colonoscopy can also help diagnose unexplained symptoms, like rectal bleeding, and confirm lower GI disorders, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
You should schedule a colonoscopy with Dr. Bahamonde if you have unexplained symptoms like:
Dr. Bahamonde also offers a colonoscopy as a preventive screening for colon cancer, even if you have no symptoms. She recommends a preventive colonoscopy to identify cancerous colonic polyps if you’re over 45, have a personal or family history of cancer, or you smoke.
If you’re receiving treatment for cancer or another lower GI condition, you’ll need a routine colonoscopy to monitor your GI health and ensure that the treatment is working.
A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure Dr. Bahamonde performs in an endoscopy center. She works in collaboration with an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist who provides moderate, deep sedation, which is not general anesthesia, nor requires intubation for breathing. Following your colonoscopy, you can expect to spend time recovering from the anesthesia. You’ll need someone to drive you home.
It’s common to feel mild cramping, bloating, and gas after your colonoscopy. These issues should get better on their own within a few hours. It can take up to three days to have a normal bowel movement after the procedure. Dr. Bahamonde recommends eating small meals after a colonoscopy. You can get back to your regular diet the next day.
If Dr. Bahamonde removes tissue samples during your colonoscopy, she sends them to the center's pathology lab for further evaluation. After receiving your results, she’ll discuss with you if there is a need for additional diagnostic testing or treatments.
To learn more about the diagnostic benefits of a colonoscopy, call Center For Digestive Healing today or schedule an appointment online.