A colonoscopy is usually done to check for polyps, or bumps, along the walls of your colon, or to screen for colon cancer, but can also be helpful to identify the source of other symptoms in your digestive system. Stuart Finkel, MD, of NY Gastroenterology & Digestive Disorders in Upper East Side, New York City, has been performing this procedure for decades to provide early diagnoses to his patients and allow for the most effective treatment possible. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Finkel online or by calling the office today if you’re overdue for a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is an examination of your large intestine using a small camera on the end of a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope. During a colonoscopy, the colonoscope is inserted in your rectum, allowing Dr. Finkel to see your entire large intestine and check for anything abnormal.
If you are over age 50, Dr. Finkel may recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years or so to check for signs of colon cancer.
Colonoscopies are also done to investigate the source of other gastrointestinal symptoms like severe abdominal pain, chronic constipation or diarrhea, or rectal bleeding.
The most important thing is to make sure you empty your colon. This allows the camera used during the colonoscopy to get a good view of anything abnormal on the walls of your intestines. Dr. Finkel may ask you to avoid most foods and drinks the day before your exam, including:
Dr. Finkel may request you stick to just clear liquids like water, tea, broth, or plain tea in order to ensure a clean colon.
Colonoscopies are simple procedures that can be completed in about 30-60 minutes. Right before your colonoscopy, you’re given a surgical gown and usually a mild sedative in pill form. If there’s a reason to expect the procedure might be painful, you may also get an intravenous (IV) drip of pain medication.
You will lay on your side, usually with your knees in your chest, and Dr. Finkel inserts the colonoscope into your rectum. In addition to the camera, the colonoscope has a small tube that he can use to pump air into your colon to get a more complete view.
This can be uncomfortable, especially when the probe is moved or when the air is pumped in. You may feel pressure, or the urge to pass gas or move your bowels during your colonoscopy, but this sensation is normal and not a cause for concern.
After your colonoscopy is complete, Dr. Finkel may give you some pain medication to help any soreness and then you’re free to go home and rest for the day.
If Dr. Finkel sees something concerning, a biopsy may be in order. For a biopsy, he uses an instrument on the colonoscope to take small amounts of tissue from your colon. This can be used to remove polyps, which are harmful bumps on your colon or take samples to test for colon cancer.
If you have questions about a colonoscopy or would like to schedule one with Dr. Finkel at NY Gastroenterology & Digestive Disorders, call the office or use the online booking feature.