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When Is the Right Time To Have a Colonoscopy?

Find out why colonoscopies are performed and when you might benefit from one. 

Most people need to get a colonoscopy at some point during their lifetime, even if they aren’t experiencing intestinal problems. There are many reasons why our New York, NY, gastroenterologist Dr. Myron Goldberg may turn to a colonoscopy as a diagnostic and preventive tool for his patients. If you’ve been told that you could benefit from getting a colonoscopy, here’s what you might want to know.

What is a colonoscopy? 

This outpatient procedure allows our team to be able to go inside the large intestines and rectum to examine the lining and detect any abnormalities that may be causing you issues. This is the most effective tool we have for detecting colorectal cancer early on.

Why did my New York, NY, gastroenterologist recommend a colonoscopy? 

There are many reasons why a colonoscopy may be recommended. Here are the top three reasons:

  • Gastrointestinal issues

This is a common reason why a colonoscopy is performed. It’s not always possible to figure out the cause of rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other intestinal issues unless we take a look inside. If we haven’t been able to pinpoint the problem through other tests or by discussing your symptoms, then a colonoscopy is the best tool to let us know what’s going on.

  • Screen for colorectal cancer

If you are 50 years old or older and have no other risk factors for colon cancer other than age, our New York, NY, gastroenterologist will often advise you to get a colonoscopy about every 10 years to screen for cancer. Those with an increased risk of developing colon cancer (e.g. history of colon polyps; smoker) will need to get screened more regularly.

  • Detect and remove colon polyps

If you’ve had polyps in the past, then you may need to have another colonoscopy to check for any additional polyps. It’s necessary to remove polyps to reduce your chances of developing colon cancer.

How is the procedure performed? 

This exam can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. When you come into our office, we will administer medication through an IV to help you feel relaxed and tired. You will then lie down on your side.

A flexible instrument called a colonoscope is able to take images of the lining of the colon as it passes through. Some air may also be blown into the colon to expand it and help us see it better. If there is something that looks abnormal while we are performing the colonoscopy, we may take a biopsy of the tissue in question to test it. We can also remove polyps during this procedure.

Despite what you might think, getting a colonoscopy really isn’t painful. Not getting one when you should puts your health and even your life at risk. A colonoscopy is the best tool for protecting you against colorectal cancer. To schedule your routine colonoscopy with your New York, NY, gastroenterologist Dr. Goldberg, call us at (212) 583-2900.

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