What is a Colonoscopy?

Life is not perfect. At some points of time, people do face different kinds of problems. The important thing however is how to deal with these problems and how to look for the most effective remedies.

Our body is made up of millions of cells and hundreds of parts and organs both internal and external. All these parts are interconnected and work together as a unit. Therefore it is not difficult to understand the fact that if one of the parts fails, then there will be a problem for the individual. Although all parts are interconnected, yet there are some parts of the body that have certain important responsibilities. For the correct functioning of the human body it is essential that these parts perform their duties with full responsibility.

In this article we are going to talk about colon, a very important of the human body, a brief summary of what colon disease or colon cancer is and then we will basically focus on colonoscopy and discuss how it works.

The colon is also called the large bowel. It is an organ of the gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for absorbing fluids, forming stools and eliminating stools. It is actually the last part of the digestive system in most vertebrates. The colon is basically responsible for extracting salt and water from solid waste before it is eliminated from the body. The colon does not play an important role in the absorption of food and nutrients however.

Good colon health is essential for the correct bowel movement and proper digestion. If a person experiences a problem in their colon, they should contact their doctors immediately. Colon can be exposed to different types of diseases and cancer as well. Colon cancer’s cause has not yet been figured out but it is believed that it mostly occurs on older people. The symptoms of colon cancer can be many. Some of the most common ones include, bleeding along with the stool, unexplained nausea etc.

Treating Colon Cancer

To treat colon cancer and other similar color related diseases, colonoscopy is used. Colonoscopy can also be used to study and observe what kinds of risks is a colon exposed to and what situation it is in.

Colonoscopy is basically a procedure where by a medical examiner usually a gastroenterologist uses certain mechanisms to evaluate the inside of the colon (the large intestine). The device used to evaluate the inside of the colon is a colonoscope which is a four foot long flexible tube. It is as thick as person’s finger and it has a source of light and a camera attached to its tip to see how the colon is performing.

The procedure of colonoscopy is a bit complicated and many people find it painful and embarrassing. It is usually done by inserting the colonoscope into the anus and then is advanced slowly into the rectum. It is taken as far as the Cecum which is the first part of the colon. Colonoscopy can measure the entire length of the colon.

A person has to lie on his left side with their knees kept as up as their chest. The doctor will then give them a pain reliever or a sedative because the process is a bit painful. Thereafter, the colonoscope is inserted into the anus. Air will be inserted into the colonoscope to provide an effective view and suction may be used to remove any waste fluid or stool.

It is a fact that one the device is being taken out, careful examination is necessary. Tissue samples can be taken out and photographs can be taken to examine the colon in a more effective manner.

Before the test a person needs to be fully prepared, both mentally and physically. A person needs to completely cleanse their intestines and drink lots of fluids including soft drinks, coffee, tea, water, strained fruit juices and sports drinks etc. your medical examiner according to your health situation and medical history will provide you with the set of instructions that you may need to follow. You might also have to stop taking certain medicines a few days before the test is conducted. You might also be told to stop taking solids for a few days.

Let us now discuss the reasons of colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy will be basically done to examine the colon in case one of the following situations occurs:

  • A very severe pain the abdominal part of the body
  • Changes in bowel movements or irregular bowel movements
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abnormal changes including rise of polyps
  • As a follow up of a past finding e.g. polyps or colon cancer
  • Anemia due to low iron
  • In case of blood coming out with the stool
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Screening for colorectal cancer

So colonoscopy is done to basically examine the large intestine and to remove the defects or problems in the colon. The doctor will be able to remove polyps and later test them in laboratories for signs of cancer. Hence removing polyps is a good way of prevention from cancer.

Samples of certain tissues can also be taken through a colonoscope to study any harmful effects. Moreover the camera attached to the colonoscope can actually take pictures and give the doctor a perfect idea of what is going on inside the colon. This will enable him to diagnose problems more conveniently and find the best solution to the problems of colon.

It is recommended that when a person reaches the age of 50, colonoscopy should be done and after that it should be conducted every 10 years to check for possible errors in the working of the colon and for the removal of colonic polyps before they become cancerous.

Before conducting any type of test every person needs to know the details of what they will be going through. It is very important that a person conducts a detailed research and looks at both the pros and cons of a situation before actually getting into it.