A colonoscopy is a way for your doctor to detect problems in your colon, such as polyps and colon cancer. At her office in Burlingame, California, Anne Thai, MD, performs a colonoscopy to check for abnormal tissues in the large intestine and rectum. Whether you’re screening for colon cancer or investigating the cause of rectal bleeding, Dr. Thai can help. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more.
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows Dr. Thai to examine your entire colon and rectum to check for abnormal tissue or changes. During this exam, she inserts a long, thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope through your anus.
The colonoscope has a small video camera on the end so that she can view the inside walls of your colon. If she finds any abnormalities, she can take biopsies of the area and remove any polyps.
There are many reasons Dr. Thai may recommend a colonoscopy, including to:
Experts recommend a colon cancer screening once every ten years after you turn 45-50. If you’re at a heightened risk of developing the disease, you may need to come in before this for more frequent screenings.
You may need more frequent colonoscopies if you’ve had colon polyps in the past. When left unmonitored, benign (noncancerous) polyps can become malignant (cancerous) over time. To reduce your chances of colon cancer, Dr. Thai may recommend a colonoscopy to screen for additional polyps and remove them.
If you’re experiencing frequent gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or thin, dark stools, Dr. Thai may use a colonoscopy to determine the cause of these changes in your bowel habits.
It's important to clean out your colon before a colonoscopy so that Dr. Thai has a clear view of your colon. In most cases, you cannot eat any solid foods for at least one day before the exam. Dr. Thai provides instructions for taking a laxative the day before the exam to ensure your colon is empty.
You may also need to adjust certain medications a week or two before the procedure, so talk to Dr. Thai right away if you’re currently taking medications for blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems.
A colonoscopy can take up to an hour and requires sedation, so you need a trusted friend or relative to take you home after the exam. You cannot drive or go back to work for the rest of the day after your procedure.
While you may feel bloated or gassy after a colonoscopy, moderate walking and a special diet can help ease your discomfort.
For more information on colonoscopies, call Anne Thai, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.