Nav Grandhi MD, a gastroenterologist at the TriHealth Digestive Institute, takes you inside the procedure room for a colonoscopy, to remind patients that it’s a simple test that could help save your life.
Colonoscopy: What is It?
A colonoscopy is an exam that views the inside of the colon and rectum using a tool called a colonoscope, which has a small camera attached to a flexible tube that can reach the length of the colon.
Colonoscopies are recommended for anyone over age 50.
What Happens During a Colonoscopy?
The purpose of a colonoscopy is to look for colorectal polyps, which are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum. While most polyps are benign, it’s important to remove them, so they do not develop into colon cancer later in life.
“If we see a lesion, then we go ahead and remove the polyp right there and then,” Dr. Grandhi tells Local 12’s Liz Bonis. Polyps are then placed in a test tube and sent to a lab for analysis.
“Once it’s removed, there’s no precancerous lesion left behind, so therefore, no cancer,” he explains.
The procedure lasts about 30 minutes, but may last longer, depending on whether the removal of polyps is needed.
How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy
Preparing for a colonoscopy involves taking a colon-cleaning laxative solution the night before. It also typically involves:
- Fasting for about six hours beforehand
- Drinking plenty of clear liquids for one to three days before the test.