How Often Should I Have a Colonoscopy?

How Often Should I Have a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy from your gastroenterologists in Greenbelt, MD, can protect your health

Are you wondering if you need a colonoscopy and how having a colonoscopy can help you? The truth is you should have a colonoscopy by the time you are 45 years old. Having a colonoscopy can help protect you against the third leading cause of cancer death–colorectal cancer. Your gastroenterologist can tell you more.

Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, provide comprehensive gastroenterology services, including colonoscopies.

After your first colonoscopy, you should have additional colonoscopies every few years after that, as your gastroenterologist recommends. You may also need a colonoscopy if you are experiencing signs and symptoms like these:

  • Frequent abdominal pain
  • Blood in your stool
  • Bleeding from your rectum
  • Recurrent diarrhea or constipation

You should also plan on having a colonoscopy if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.

During your colonoscopy, a thin, flexible tube containing a tiny camera is inserted into your rectum and guided up through your colon. The camera allows your gastroenterologist to view your colon.

If any growths, polyps, or abnormal tissue are identified, your gastroenterologist can remove the entire growth or take a tissue sample for biopsy. The biopsy determines whether abnormal or cancerous cells are present.

You will be sedated throughout the procedure, so it’s important to bring someone with you who can drive you home afterward. The entire procedure takes about 45 minutes, but plan on spending 2 to 3 hours to allow for recovery from sedation.

Having a colonoscopy can help identify colorectal cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable. To find out more about when you should have a colonoscopy and how it can protect your health, talk with the experts. Call Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD. You can reach them in the office by calling (301) 982-7900, so call today.

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