By Dr. Kushal Mital, General Surgery
Colonoscopy is a testing method that helps a doctor to witness the inner lining of the large intestine. A thin tube known as the colonoscope is used to perform this test. The distinct advantage of this test is the fact that unlike another test, a colonoscopy gives a full view of the rectum and the full colon. This procedure is often used by doctors to eradicate polyps and perform a biopsy.
Detection and eradication of polyps-A polyp size, which has a diameter of more than 1 cm call for a full examination of the colon. Although many doctors suggest colonoscopy with a polyp that is less than 1 cm due to the presence of cancer cells present in preexisting polyps. Colonoscopy is preferred over other tests due to their unique ability to distinguish between malignant and benign structures. It is also very effective in searching for lesions and effectively brings out samples to perform a biopsy.
- The case of bowel resection: For patients who are suffering from colon cancer and needs a bowel resection should have a colonoscopy done. This is all the more true for patients who have already undergone bowel removal surgery. While many authorities suggest that patients of this nature should undergo colonoscopy every year, other authorities believe that a colonoscopy in every 3 years serves the purpose.
- Cancer in the family: Individuals having a history of adenomatous polyposis are often recommended to under colonoscopy once in every 12 months. The testing should start at the age of 12 and go up to 35 years. Post this screening can happen after every 3 years. Patients suffering from hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer should also go for a yearly colonoscopy from the age of 10 years until the age of 40 years.
- Managing IBD: Patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) should get a colonoscopy done to better manage the disease. Colonoscopy is considered to be more effective than barium enema in comprehending the extent of the inflammation process. Colonoscopy can further distinguish between Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis where clinical and radiologic study fails.
- Detecting and treating acute bleeding: Colonoscopy can successfully trace the site of bleeding for patients suffering from lower gastrointestinal bleeding. It is also believed to have a therapeutic intervention. Correctly determining the bleeding source is one key advantage of colonoscopy. If it fails, the doctor might suggest for an angiography.
- Colon decompression: When an intestine twists in the cecum or sigmoid colon, it results in bowel obstruction and can compound to ischemia. This condition is known as a volvulus. Some common symptoms of this disease include nausea, abdominal pain, and obstipation. Typically the surgical procedure is necessary to arrest this situation. Colonoscopy is used in decompressing the colon.