What to Expect During and After Your First Colonoscopy

As you get older, there are a number of preventive health screenings you should have to protect your physical wellness. A colonoscopy is one of those tests.

As an experienced gastroenterologist, Vikram S. Jayanty, MD, PA, offers comprehensive colonoscopy services to lower your risk factors for colorectal cancer complications.

Dr. Jayanty performs colonoscopy procedures on-site in a private endoscopy suite, ensuring your health and comfort are the top priority. He also offers guidance before your appointment, so you know what to expect during and after your first colonoscopy.

What to know about colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure to examine the lower part of your gastrointestinal tract, including your colon (large intestine) and rectum.

The goal of this type of screening is to identify cell changes in the lining of these structures that can be a warning sign for cancer. Discovering abnormal cells, or larger groups of cells known as polyps, early can reduce your risk for the cancer worsening and spreading to other areas of your body.

Colorectal cancer treatments can be very successful, especially if you begin treatment in the earliest stages. Having routine colonoscopies make early detection and treatment possible for both men and women.

Typically, you should start scheduling colorectal cancer screenings by the time you’re 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or other risk factors for the disease, you may need to have colonoscopies at a younger age.

What to expect during your first colonoscopy

Your first colonoscopy can be intimidating, so be sure to ask Dr. Jayanty any questions you have about the procedure during your consultation. Knowing what to expect can make you feel less stressed about your colonoscopy and also keeps you motivated to follow through with routine screenings.

On the day of your appointment, we can provide sedative medication to keep you relaxed and comfortable. While you lie on an exam table, Dr. Jayanty inserts a thin, flexible scope into your rectum. The scope has a light attached, as well as a camera to send real-time images of your gastrointestinal tract back to a monitor.

As Dr. Jayanty moves the scope into your colon, he pumps some air in through the scope to better see the lining of your colon. This pressure of the air may make you feel uncomfortable, like you have a cramp or need to have a bowel movement.

If he sees any abnormal tissue in your colon or rectum, Dr. Jayanty can insert specialized instruments through the scope to complete a biopsy. A biopsy involves the removal of a tissue sample for further evaluation under a microscope to check for cancer cells. He can also remove polyps from the lining of your colon during the same procedure.

Your recovery from a colonoscopy

Once Dr. Jayanty removes the scope from your rectum and your colonoscopy is complete, you will need to spend time recovering from the sedative.

If he removed polyps, you may need to follow a special diet for a few days. Dr. Jayanty can also discuss any abnormal findings from your colonoscopy to determine if you need additional testing or treatment.

A colonoscopy generally takes between 30 and 60 minutes and you’ll need someone to drive you home afterward. It’s normal to feel bloated or have gas for a few hours after your colonoscopy. You may find relief from these symptoms by walking around and eating small meals.

If you have any unusual symptoms, such as passing blood clots or worsening abdominal pain, contact our office for additional guidance.

To schedule your first colonoscopy, call the Houston, Texas, office today or book an appointment online.

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