Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure for identifying the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms originating in the colon, and as such is a key element of colon cancer screenings. Nicholas Martinez, MD, is a board-certified gastroenterologist at Gastroenterology Clinic of San Antonio with extensive experience in carrying out colonoscopies with care and consideration. If you have a problem with your bowels, Dr. Martinez can provide a diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatments for your condition. Call his San Antonio office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure using an endoscope to look at the inside of your colon, or large bowel. An endoscope is a slim, flexible tube fitted with a tiny camera and a light that Dr. Martinez carefully inserts in your rectum. The endoscope relays pictures of the inside of your colon to a monitor screen so Dr. Martinez can look for any abnormalities.
Colonoscopy is helpful for diagnosing the cause of symptoms such as:
Colonoscopy is preferable to X-rays for distinguishing ulcers, inflammation, and tumors in the colon.
There are also treatments Dr. Martinez can carry out using colonoscopy, including:
Dr. Martinez can use colonoscopy to perform a biopsy, where he takes a small sample of tissue from your colon for laboratory analysis. This is particularly helpful in detecting cancer early and determining whether growths are malignant or benign, which is why a colonoscopy is a key tool in screening for colon cancer.
It’s important that your bowel is empty for the colonoscopy, so you’ll be given laxatives to take the day before your appointment to clear out your bowels. Consequently, you may feel hungry and possibly nauseous before the procedure. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water up to midnight on the night before your colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy is rarely painful, as Dr. Martinez doesn’t need to make any surgical incisions to carry out the procedure and you’re given a sedative to help you relax. You may experience mild symptoms at times during a colonoscopy, such as:
A colonoscopy may take just 15 minutes in some cases or could last up to an hour. Dr. Martinez is normally able to review the results of your colonoscopy on the same day, although if you have a biopsy, it may take several days for the results to come back from the lab.
If you need a colonoscopy, Dr. Martinez has access to the state-of-the-art facilities at the San Antonio Endoscopy Center, which is in the same building as the Gastroenterology Clinic of San Antonio. To schedule a colonoscopy with a board-certified gastroenterologist, call Gastroenterology Clinic of San Antonio or schedule an appointment online today.