Colonoscopy is the
gold standard test for the evaluating of diseases
of the large intestine, or colon. Most people
who have rectal bleeding will need this test to
evaluate for the bleeding source. When done
properly, colonoscopy can evaluate the entire
colon and often provide a means of treating the
source of the bleeding. It is generally done with
an IV medication that makes you sleepy; most people
sleep through the entire test. Although procedural
times vary, at Southeast Idaho Gastroenterology
most colonoscopies take fifteen minutes or less.
This procedure has been shown in studies to be
the best approach for most people in screening for
colon cancer and polyps. The main reason is that
not only can the entire colon be examined, but if
polyps are found most can be removed at the same time.
This alleviates the need for another test. Many
people who have had other screening methods
along with colonoscopy prefer the traditional
colonoscopy because of its ability to have polyps
removed or therapy applied during the test. It is
a safe procedure; complications are rare when done
by a gastroenterologist.