Colonoscopy in San Antonio, TX
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What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an endoscopic exam where a lengthy, thin, pliable pipe or “scope” is inserted into the anus and moved through the whole large intestine (colon). The scope has a light and camera on the end of it, which allows the specialist to explore the lining of the colon. A colonoscopy can be performed to detect the cause of intestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain, or abnormal x-ray findings.
A colonoscopy may also be done on a patient with no symptoms at age 45 or earlier depending on the patient’s history, to test for colon cancer and polyps. As leading experts in gastrointestinal wellness, the board-certified GI specialists at our San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates locations routinely do colonoscopy procedures. Please contact us for more information on colonoscopies in San Antonio, TX.
What benefits come from a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the best defense against colon cancer development, so it is essential that you undergo these screenings as suggested by your GI specialist. Regular colon cancer screenings can offer a number of advantages for your GI and general health and wellness. Some of the benefits of a colonoscopy include:
- Detects initial indications of colon cancer
- Identifies and removes precancerous growths
- Identifies IBD, diverticulosis, and other GI conditions
- Serves as the predominant screening option for colorectal cancer
- May be life-saving
Due to advanced technology, colonoscopies are performed quicker, with less discomfort, and more precisely than in previous years.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
You will receive instructions from your GI specilist at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates concerning the bowel preparation that is required before your colonoscopy. The majority of individuals consume only clear liquids the full 24 hours prior to the procedure. There are several choices for laxatives you can take to completely empty out the colon. It is important to follow the instructions provided to you by your specialist. There may also be additional directions about your medications. In most cases, your prescriptions will be taken as usual. But in specific circumstances, particularly in patients on blood thinners (i.e., Coumadin®, warfarin, Plavix®, aspirin, anti-inflammatories) and in those with diabetes, specific instructions will be given. You will be advised not to consume anything after midnight except for medications.
We may ask you to appear at the endoscopy facility 1 – 1.5 hours before your procedure. This is to provide enough time to fill out paperwork and get ready for the colonoscopy. We will instruct you to change into a hospital gown, and then an intravenous (IV) catheter will be inserted in your arm so that medication can be given. You will be connected to gear that will allow the specialist and staff to monitor your heartbeat, arterial pressure, electrocardiogram, breath, and oxygen concentration during and after the colonoscopy.
Once in the exam office, you will be asked to lie on your left side on the bed. The IV sedation will be administered. Small quantities are distributed to guarantee your safety and supply only the amount you need individually. Once a sufficient amount of sedation is achieved, the doctor will perform a rectal exam. The colonoscope will then be gently placed through the anus. The scope will be carefully moved through the colon to where the small intestine and colon join. A tiny amount of air is pumped from the scope and into the colon to enable the specialist to view the interior of colon. Any fluid left in the intestine following the preparation can be cleared and suctioned out with the scope.
Based on the results of the colonoscopy, multiple procedures may be performed at the moment of the exam, like biopsies, the extraction of tumors, and the management of bleeding. At the end of the colonoscopy, as much of the gas and remaining liquid as possible will be removed from the colon using the scope. Based on the results, the test takes approximately 15 – 30 minutes.
After the screening is complete, you will be taken to the recovery room to be monitored while the medication wears off. The amount of sedation utilized throughout the test and your particular reaction to the drug will determine how quickly you will awaken, though the majority of clients are coherent enough for discharge within 45 – 60 minutes.
You will not be permitted to operate a vehicle for the rest of the day following your colonoscopy with our San Antonio, TX team. Consequently, you will be required to arrange for a ride back to your house. You will also be instructed not to work, sign important papers, or do demanding activities for the rest of the afternoon. The majority of patients are able to consume food and beverages as usual after their dismissal from the endoscopy office; however, specific instructions about exercise, eating, and medicines will be given prior to dismissal.
When will I get my results?
Upon conclusion of the colonoscopy, the specialist and/or support staff will go over the findings of the procedure with you. Many patients will not recall what they are told following the exam because of the effects of the sedation medication. It is advised, if possible, to bring someone with you with whom the findings can also be discussed. You may also return home with a written account. You may be notified of any biopsy reports generally within seven days.
Are there other alternatives to a colonoscopy?
To an extent, the other options for the procedure will depend on the reasons for requiring the colonoscopy to begin with. In most cases, a colonoscopy is the best way to view and treat abnormalities in the colon. However, there are various x-rays that can measure the colon, such as a barium enema or virtual CT scan. These are, however, solely diagnostic exams. Handling irregularities will require a colonoscopy or an operation.
What are the risks of a colonoscopy?
Generally, a colonoscopy is a safe exam. Usually, issues occur in less than 1% of clients. The majority of complications are not life-threatening; however, if a problem occurs, it may require hospitalization and surgery. Prior to the procedure, a consent form will be discussed with the patient by the nursing personnel. Should any inquiries or problems emerge, these can be reviewed with your physician before starting the test.
Medication reactions associated with the sedation can occur. These can involve (but are not limited to} allergic reactions, trouble breathing, consequences on the circulatory system and blood pressure, and discomfort of the vein used to administer the IV.
Bleeding can arise with biopsies and polyp extractions. Significant bleeding that may need a blood donation or hospitalization is very rare. Although, bleeding can arise during the procedure or up to two weeks following the exam if a tumor is removed.
Perforation or puncture of the bowel can occur. This may be identified during the test, or it might not be obvious until later in the day. In most instances, a perforation will need an operation and hospitalization. This is a rare difficulty, even when polyps are removed.
It is crucial that you contact your physician's office without delay if symptoms emerge following the colonoscopy, like increasing abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.
Like most other procedures, a colonoscopy is not perfect. There is a tiny, acknowledged risk that irregularities, such as polyps and cancers, can be undetected during the exam. It is important to continue to maintain appointments with your provider at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location as advised and notify us of any new or persistent symptoms.
By what age should you undergo a colonoscopy exam?
It is recommended individuals who are at standard odds of getting colon cancer start scheduling a colonoscopy exam at age 45. However, if your odds for getting colon cancer are more likely or you are showing worrisome signs of colon cancer, our GI specialists might suggest a colon cancer screening earlier than that age.
After 45, when is it recommended you schedule colon cancer screenings?
Doctors recommend receiving colonoscopies around every ten years for patients who are at average risk, who are in good health, and when they have screening results that are within normal limits. Following your colon cancer screening, your gastroenterologist will let you know how many years apart you need to schedule colon cancer screenings moving forward.
Will a colonoscopy be an uncomfortable exam?
Sedation will be given to you ahead of your colon exam to help ensure your comfort while undergoing your procedure. Depending on the type of sedation given, a number of people feel an extremely relaxed state or become sleepy, and many have no recollection of their procedure. You can speak with your GI specialist about what you can experience during your consultation.
What’s the average recovery period for a colorectal exam?
Most of the time, you can expect about a full 24 hours to recuperate after a colonoscopy, and a number of patients are well enough to start their daily routine the following day. If colon polyps are removed, recovery may last about a week. It is not uncommon to experience some GI irritation following a colonoscopy, such as cramping and bloating. Our San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates doctors will give you more information about what you can expect during your recovery.
The gold standard for colorectal cancer screening
A colonoscopy is thought of as the “gold standard” of all testing procedures for colorectal cancer. Unlike different screening approaches, a colonoscopy enables the investigation of the entire colon. As well as providing the most comprehensive screening, it also allows for the discovery of polyps and their extraction in just one procedure. For some other screening approaches, the capacity to remove tumors is not available, and if the exam returns positive for tumors, you will probably need a colonoscopy. You can book a colonoscopy in San Antonio, TX by contacting our office. A regular colonoscopy can protect your wellbeing and prevent cancer from going undetected. If you would like to schedule a colonoscopy, contact your nearest San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location today.
My experience with Dr Guerra and staff members was very Good. They were all VERY Professional and made me feel like a family member they were all VERY well knowable. I would recommend them to anyone who has to have a colonoscopy. THANK you VERY much. God Bless.
Dr Johnson and all staff members were very friendly and if having a colonoscopy can be rated 5-star, this is the place to go! Friendly, kind and gentle doctor and staff! And Kudos for the liquid prep—so easy to get it down without gagging on the usual gallon size liquid prep. Facility was spotlessly clean! See you in 5 years!
Let's face it: Colonoscopies are not most people's favorite thing to prepare for. Many people avoid the experience and "hope" nothing bad will happen. That changed for me some years ago when my next door neighbor told me she was dying with colon cancer because she had refused to have colonoscopies throughout her life even though she knew colon cancer ran in her family. She died 6 weeks after telling me this in her mid 50's. Fast forward to my own life 20 years later. I have just completed my 3rd colonoscopy with Dr. Jeff Bullock. Dr. Bullock and his team are extremely professional and caring in providing their services and making patients feel completely comfortable and cared for throughout the process. The best part of all is that the entire process from check-in to check-out was FAST and painless. I highly recommend Dr. Bullock and the entire Gastroenterology team.
The doctor is good… you spend more time waiting for him than the visit itself though.. but he will talk to you about your concerns and answers your questions…. But staff need to ask you when you would like to come back instead of making an appointment for you and then needing to reschedule the appointment because the time and date doesn’t work for you… they need to remember that people do work and some have hard times taking time off…another thing it is very very hard to get ahold of someone at the office when you call in as well. They also will tell you they will mail out the prep information for the colonoscopy to you in the mail and you never get it so you need to call the office to get the information over the phone of what needs to be done, or Google the information online
I really enjoyed talking to Dr. Flores. He was very helpful and explained why I we need to have an colonoscopy. I’m on blood thinners and he got my cardiologist info. I truly recommend him. Even the recipient was very nice on the phone.