ZocdocAnswersWhy would one need a colonoscopy?

Question

Why would one need a colonoscopy?

Why would a person need to get a colonoscopy? My husband is 55 and I keep hearing that he should get one just because he is that age, but that seems strange to me. Why should we go looking for problems if he hasn't had any? What would they even look for during a colonoscopy?

Answer

Colonoscopy is a direct visualization of one's colon and rectum via the use of a flexible, lighted camera called a colonscope. Colonoscopies can be performed by specialists including surgeons while in the O.R and gastroenterologists (GI) in the operating room or at the bedside. Colonscopies are done for several reasons. Primarily they are done so that the clinician can visually observe one's colon and rectum. A colonoscopy is also valuable because you can take biopsies of tissue and repair abnormalities such as gastrointestinal bleeds. Other reasons for having a colonoscopy is to diagnose diseases of the colon and the rectum such as inflammatory bowel disease and more importantly malignancy. According to the center for disease control and prevention, any person at the age of 50 should have a screening colonoscopy to prevent colo-rectal cancer. The reason why is that sample can be obtained and tested for malignancy. If a region of diseased colon is found it can be evaluated and treated before it becomes more problematic. Although the CDC recommends colonoscopy screening at the age of 50, there may be contraindications to having the procedure done. Please seek expert care from a Gastroenterologist before.

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