Colonoscopy in Florida

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A colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure where a long, flexible tube, known as a "scope," is inserted into the rectum and navigated through the entire colon. This tube has a light and camera on its end, enabling the provider to thoroughly examine the lining of the colon. This procedure is often used to diagnose the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain, or abnormal x-ray findings.

Additionally, a colonoscopy is performed on asymptomatic individuals, typically starting at age 45, or earlier if there is a personal or family history that suggests higher risk. The primary goal is to screen for colon cancer and polyps, making it the only effective colorectal cancer prevention strategy. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida, who are leaders in digestive health, regularly conduct colonoscopies. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please contact a location in Florida near you.

Colonoscopy exams are the most reliable defense against developing colon cancer. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals over 45 or those at higher risk to undergo these screenings as recommended by their physician. Regular colonoscopy screenings provide numerous benefits for both gastrointestinal and overall health. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Early detection of colon and rectal cancer
  • Removal of abnormal growths
  • Diagnosis of other conditions
  • Most effective screening option
  • Potentially life-saving

With advancements in technology, colorectal cancer screenings are now performed more quickly, comfortably, and accurately than ever before.

Before your colonoscopy, your physician at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida will provide you with specific instructions for bowel preparation. Typically, patients are required to follow a clear liquid diet the day before the exam. Various laxative options are available to thoroughly clean out the colon, and it is crucial to adhere strictly to the instructions provided by your physician. You will also receive guidance regarding your medications. While most medications can be continued, special instructions will be given if you are on blood thinners (e.g., Coumadin, warfarin, Plavix, aspirin, anti-inflammatories) or if you have diabetes. Patients should not consume anything except medications after midnight before the procedure.

You will need to arrive at your local Gastroenterology Associates of Florida endoscopy center 1 to 1.5 hours before your scheduled exam. This time allows for paperwork and preparation. You will change into a medical gown, and an intravenous (IV) catheter will be inserted into your arm for sedation. You will be connected to monitors that track your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, breathing, and oxygen levels during and after the exam.

In the exam room, you will lie on your left side on an exam table. Sedation will be administered through the IV, with small doses given to ensure your safety and provide the necessary level of sedation. Once you are adequately sedated, the physician will perform a rectal exam and then gently insert the colonoscope into the rectum. The scope will be carefully guided through the entire colon to where the small bowel and colon meet. A small amount of air will be introduced through the scope to expand the colon, allowing the physician to see more clearly. Any residual fluid in the colon can be washed and suctioned out through the scope.

During the procedure, which typically lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, the physician may perform biopsies, remove polyps, or control any bleeding. At the end of the exam, as much air and fluid as possible will be suctioned out of the colon through the scope. The findings and any necessary actions will determine the exact duration of the procedure.

After your colonoscopy, you will be taken to a recovery room to be monitored as the sedation wears off. The amount of sedation used and your personal response will determine how quickly you wake up, but most patients are alert enough to be discharged 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. You should also avoid working, signing important documents, or engaging in strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Most patients can eat and drink normally after being discharged from the endoscopy unit, but you will receive specific instructions about activity, diet, and medications before you leave.

After the exam, the physician or nurse will review the procedure findings with you. Due to the effects of the sedation, you might not remember the details, so it’s a good idea to bring someone with you to hear the results as well. You will also receive a typed report to take home. Biopsy results, if any were taken, are typically available within a week.

To an extent, the alternatives to the exam will depend on the reason for needing to undergo the colonoscopy in the first place. In most cases, a colonoscopy is the best method to evaluate and treat abnormalities in the colon. In fact, it’s the only prevention method available for colorectal cancer. However, there are different x-rays that can evaluate the colon, including a barium enema and virtual CT scan. These are, however, only diagnostic exams. Treatment of abnormalities will require a colonoscopy or surgery.

While a colonoscopy is generally a safe procedure, there are potential risks involved. Complications are rare, affecting less than 1% of patients, and are usually not life-threatening. However, some complications may require hospitalization and surgical intervention. Before the procedure, the nursing staff will review a consent form with you, and you can discuss any questions or concerns with your physician.

Possible risks include:

  • Medication reactions: Sedation can cause various reactions, such as allergies, breathing difficulties, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, or irritation at the IV site.
  • Bleeding: Bleeding can occur during biopsies or polyp removal. Although significant bleeding that requires a transfusion or hospitalization is uncommon, it can happen during the procedure or up to two weeks afterward if a polyp is removed.
  • Perforation: There is a risk of a perforation or tear in the colon, which might be detected during the procedure or later. Most perforations will require surgery and hospitalization, though this complication is rare, even when polyps are removed.

It is crucial to contact your physician's office immediately if you experience symptoms such as increasing abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever after the procedure.

As with any medical test, a colonoscopy is not perfect. There is a small chance that abnormalities, including polyps and cancers, might be missed during the exam. It is important to follow up with your physician at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida as instructed and report any new or persistent symptoms.

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By what age should I have a colonoscopy screening?

It is recommended that people who are at average risk of getting colon cancer begin colon cancer screenings when they turn 45 years old. However, if your risks of colon cancer are higher or you are showing signs or symptoms of colon cancer, your GI doctor could recommend having a colonoscopy before that age.

How often should you schedule colon cancer screenings?

GI doctors advise receiving a colon cancer screening every decade for patients who have ordinary risk, are in good health, and have colonoscopy results that are within normal limits. After your colonoscopy, your GI doctor will discuss with you how many years apart you should request colon cancer screenings in the future.

Will my colonoscopy be an uncomfortable exam?

Sedation will be given to you ahead of your colon exam to maximize your comfort and relaxation throughout the process. Depending on the type of sedation, many patients experience a very mellow state or even become drowsy, and most have little to no memory of the procedure. Feel free to talk with your gastroenterologist about what you should expect during your consultation.

What is the average recovery time for a colonoscopy?

On average, it takes about 24 hours to recover following a colonoscopy, and many individuals are well enough to resume normal activities the subsequent day. When polyps are extracted, the recovery time will likely take longer. It is common to experience some gastric irritation following a colon cancer screening, such as bloating and cramping. Our Gastroenterology Associates of Florida doctors will give you additional information on what you can anticipate during your recovery.

Colonoscopy is widely regarded as the "gold standard" for colon cancer screenings. Unlike other screening methods, a colonoscopy serves as both a diagnostic and preventive measure, allowing for a thorough examination of the entire colon and the removal of polyps in a single procedure. Other screening methods may detect polyps but lack the capability to remove them, often necessitating a follow-up colonoscopy if polyps are found.

Scheduling a colonoscopy at your local Gastroenterology Associates of Florida office could be a life-saving decision. Regular colonoscopies are crucial for early detection and prevention of colon cancer. To learn more about scheduling a colonoscopy, contact a location near you in Florida today.

This is my first time seeing this doctor and I ask him to send over a prescription to my pharmacy for a refill and he didn’t send it over but he sent over the prescription for me to take before my Colonoscopy procedure I don’t think that’s nice. Am not pleased at all.

L.S. Google

Expedited and professional pre colonoscopy visit. Thank you!

W.M. Google

What can I say I'm going to get a colonoscopy that being said Doctor will take was great

M.F. Google

I have had my share of healthy visits (thank GOD) - This was one of them - A routine colonoscopy - I was referred here to this Doctor and WOW - The office staff and the Doctor were nothing short of the best!!! He takes time to give you time - and even a follow up phone call that was unexpected. I highly recommend this practice and Atlantis Outpatient Surgery Center

R.C. Google

Dr. Simon and his staff they performed very nice. I recommended anybody doing Colonoscopy with them it was very comfortable.

R.A. Google


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