Colonoscopy in Kansas City, MO

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A colonoscopy involves inserting a long, flexible tube, known as a "scope," into the rectum and advancing it through the entire colon (large intestine). The scope, equipped with a light and camera, enables the physician to observe the colon's lining. This procedure is essential for diagnosing gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain, or abnormal x-rays.

Furthermore, colonoscopies are recommended for asymptomatic patients starting at age 45 or earlier, depending on their medical history, to screen for colon cancer and polyps. It is the only method available for preventing colorectal cancer. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Specialists, who are leaders in digestive health, routinely perform colonoscopies. Contact your local office for more details.

What are the benefits of a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopies are the most reliable protection against colon cancer, making it extremely important to obtain these screenings as suggested by your gastroenterologist. Routine colon cancer screenings offer a number of advantages for your gastrointestinal health and your overall wellness. Benefits of a colonoscopy include:

  • May be a life-saving exam
  • Diagnoses IBD, diverticulosis, and other GI concerns
  • Identifies and removes abnormal polyps
  • Discovers initial indications of colorectal cancer
  • Serves as the leading testing option for colorectal cancer

Thanks to advancing technology, colonoscopy screenings today are completed faster, more comfortably, and with greater precision than ever before.

Your Digestive Health Specialists doctor will provide instructions for bowel preparation before your colonoscopy. Most patients will need to follow a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure. You will be prescribed specific laxatives to thoroughly clean out the colon, and it's crucial to follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Guidance will also be provided regarding your medications. While you will usually continue taking your medications, special instructions will be given to those on blood thinners (such as Coumadin, warfarin, Plavix, aspirin, anti-inflammatories) and diabetics. You should avoid consuming anything after midnight except for medications.

You should plan to arrive at the endoscopy center 1 to 1.5 hours before your exam to complete paperwork and get ready. You will change into a medical gown, and an intravenous (IV) catheter will be inserted into your arm for sedation. During the procedure, monitors will be attached to track your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, breathing, and oxygen levels.

In the exam room, you will lie on your left side, and IV sedation will begin in small doses to ensure your safety and provide the necessary sedation level. The doctor will perform a rectal exam before gently inserting the colonoscope into the rectum. The scope will be carefully navigated through the colon to the junction with the small bowel. Air will be introduced into the colon to help the doctor see clearly. Any remaining fluid can be washed out and suctioned through the scope.

During the procedure, the doctor may perform biopsies, remove polyps, or control bleeding if necessary. At the end of the exam, as much air and fluid as possible will be suctioned out of the colon through the scope. The procedure generally takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the findings.

Once your colonoscopy is complete, you will be taken to the recovery room to be monitored while the sedation wears off. The amount of sedation and your individual response will dictate how quickly you wake up, but most patients are ready to go home within 45 to 60 minutes.

You will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day, so you will need to arrange for someone to take you home. Additionally, you will be advised not to work, sign important papers, or engage in strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Most patients can eat and drink normally after discharge from the Endoscopy unit, though specific instructions regarding activities, eating, and medications will be provided before you leave.

After the exam, the doctor or nurse will review the findings with you. Because of the sedation, most patients do not remember this discussion, so it would be best for you to bring someone with you to hear the results. You will also receive a written report to take home. Biopsy results, if any, will typically be available within a week.

What are the alternatives to a colonoscopy?

The choice of alternative tests depends on why a colonoscopy is needed. In most cases, a colonoscopy is the preferred method to evaluate and treat abnormalities in the colon and remains the sole preventive measure for colorectal cancer. Nonetheless, various x-rays, such as a barium enema or a virtual CT scan, can be used to assess the colon. These tests, however, are only for diagnosis, and any abnormalities found would still necessitate a colonoscopy or surgical intervention for treatment.

A colonoscopy is a very safe procedure overall, with complications occurring in less than 1% of patients. Most complications are minor but may require hospitalization and surgery if they arise. The nursing staff will review a consent form with you before the procedure, and you can address any questions or concerns with your doctor.

Possible reactions to sedation medication include allergic reactions, breathing issues, impacts on heart and blood pressure, and vein irritation where the medication is given.

Bleeding can occur during biopsies or when polyps are removed. Though significant bleeding requiring a blood transfusion or hospitalization is rare, it can happen during the exam or up to two weeks afterward if a polyp is removed.

Perforation or puncture of the colon is a risk. This may be detected during the procedure or later in the day and typically necessitates surgery and hospitalization. However, this complication is rare, even with polyp removal.

If you experience worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever after the procedure, contact your doctor immediately.

Like any test, a colonoscopy is not perfect. There is a small risk that abnormalities, such as polyps or cancers, might be missed. It is vital to keep up with follow-up appointments with your doctor at Digestive Health Specialists and report any new or ongoing symptoms.

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At what age is a colonoscopy recommended?

It’s suggested that individuals with an average risk for colon cancer begin having their colonoscopy exams upon turning 45. If your odds of colon cancer are higher than average or you have signs or symptoms of colon cancer, our GI specialists may recommend having a colonoscopy earlier than age 45.

How often should you have colonoscopies?

Doctors suggest undergoing colonoscopies every decade for patients who are at ordinary risk, are in favorable health, and have colonoscopy results that reveal no concerns. After your initial colon cancer screening, your gastroenterologist will let you know how many years apart you should undergo colonoscopy exams moving forward.

Is a colonoscopy an uncomfortable process?

Sedation services are administered prior to colonoscopies to ensure patient comfort throughout the exam. Depending on the medication, patients may reach a very calm state and even become sleepy, and many have little to no memory of the procedure. Speak with your GI specialist about what to expect with a colonoscopy when you visit our team for your consultation.

What is the average recovery time for a colonoscopy?

In most instances, it takes about a full day to recover following a colonoscopy, and a number of patients are able to resume their normal activities the next day. If colorectal polyps are extracted, the recovery period may last about a week. It is common to experience abdominal discomfort after a colonoscopy, like cramping and/or bloating. Our Digestive Health Specialists team will provide further information about what to anticipate as you recover.

A colonoscopy is recognized as the superior screening method. Unlike other screening techniques, a colonoscopy not only examines the entire colon but also removes polyps in a single procedure. Other screening methods do not offer this capability, and if polyps are detected, a colonoscopy will likely be necessary. You can schedule a colonoscopy at your local Digestive Health Specialists office. Regular colonoscopies have the potential to save lives. To learn more about how to get a colonoscopy, contact Digestive Health Specialists today.

Talk about a kind, enjoyable to dialogue with over a colonoscopy!!! Highly recommend her!

W.U. Google

Dr Eisenach and his team did a great job during my colonoscopy procedure last week and I am 200% satisfied with his team who all are ace professionals

R.G. Google

Wonderful nursing staff and Dr Jones was fantastic. Very engaging, clear, and prompt. I would highly recommend Thomas Jones for your colonoscopy procedure.

D.A. Google

The procedure was painless and thorough to the point that Dr. Samuel explained the procedure in details. I received a follow up call the following day to see if I was doing ok. The staff and anesthesiologist was great. The prep the day before was the worst in preparing for a colonoscopy at any locations. I recommend Dr. Samuel for your colonoscopy.

A.K. Google

Very professional place. Felt very comfortable with my colonoscopy. Dr. Chen was very kind and thorough. Kev was great and super nice. Everyone was great.

D.“. Google


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