A colonoscopy is a procedure performed to examine specific areas of your body, such as the colon and rectum. Through this procedure, medical professionals may find potentially cancerous polyps that would need to be removed to prevent colon cancer from developing and spreading. While most young adults won't have one of these procedures, colon cancer is on the rise, which is why it's incredibly beneficial to have a colonoscopy.

What Makes the Colonoscopy Worth It?

Early detection of cancerous polyps can easily save a person's life. For example, suppose someone is in the earliest stages of colon cancer. In that case, a colonoscopy will provide the medical professionals with an in-depth view of what's going on, enabling the patient to begin treatment sooner. Those who start treatment sooner and catch cancer at its earlier stages have a significantly higher survival rate. For this reason alone, it's worth it to undergo a colonoscopy, even if you feel nervous and scared about the experience.

What's It Like to Get a Colonoscopy?

Some people put off this procedure because they fear it might hurt or don't know what to expect. However, there is nothing to be scared of at all. In fact, while undergoing a colonoscopy, you will receive sedation or general anesthesia to keep you relaxed and prevent you from experiencing any pain or discomfort. It's common for patients to fall asleep during the procedure.

For most people, the most challenging part of getting a colonoscopy isn't the procedure. Instead, it's the prep. Before you have a colonoscopy done, you need to prep for it by following a clear liquid diet consisting of broth, water, light-colored energy drinks, and light tea. You will also need to consume a laxative that helps clear you out, which means you may spend quite a bit on the toilet before your colonoscopy. Although a bit frustrating, preparation is essential and plays a significant role in ensuring you receive the most accurate results in the aftermath of the procedure.

How Long Will It Take?

A colonoscopy isn't a lengthy, drawn-out procedure. It will likely take a little less than an hour to complete. However, you can expect to spend a few hours at the office so the anesthesia can wear off before leaving. Once you've had the colonoscopy done, you can receive the results from a medical professional within a few days.

Getting a colonoscopy could save your life, especially if there is a history of people in your family developing colon cancer. Instead of being afraid, know that this is a relatively painless procedure that doesn't take too long!

For more information about undergoing a colonoscopy, contact a local medical center.