Many people do not understand the colonoscope, but just hearing the name makes them feel scared and painful. Is it really like that? Today, let's talk about colonoscope. Understanding its working principle may help relieve some nervousness.
Colonoscope is a flexible tube with some miniature devices at the top, including light source and camera, which allows the doctor to clearly observe the mucosa of the rectum, colon, and a small segment of the terminal ileum. Once the doctor finds a lesion, he can also assist in diagnosis by taking a biopsy. Of course, some lesions can also be treated under colonoscope, such as polyp removal. Why remove polyps? Because most colon cancers start from polyps. The process of growth from polyps to polyp cancer takes about ten years, which means that if polyps are found and removed earlier through colonoscope in the ten years, the risk of colon cancer can be greatly reduced.
Firstly, people with symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood in stool, and changes in bowel habits or characteristics need to have a colonoscope to make a definite diagnosis. What does change in bowel habit mean? That is, if you used to have a bowel movement once a day, but in the past two to three months, it has changed to two to three times a day, then you need to consider having a colonoscope to see what is causing the increase in bowel movements.
Secondly, for asymptomatic people, it is recommended to have a colonoscope every 10 years starting at the age of 50 to screen for colon cancer. For people with a family history of colon cancer, such as parents, siblings, or children who have colon cancer, screening colonoscope should start at the age of 40 and be performed at least every five years. If a young relative is diagnosed with colon cancer, the screening should start 10 years earlier than the age of diagnosis of the affected relative. What does this mean? That is, if a relative is diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 42, family members related by blood, such as siblings and children, should have a colonoscope every five years starting from the age of 32, and his brothers and sisters and parents are also advised to have a colonoscope as soon as possible.
Many people have heard that colonoscope is very uncomfortable and hesitate to have one. In fact, the technology of painless colonoscope is already very mature and will not be uncomfortable. Before the examination, the nurse will first insert an intravenous cannula, and then the anesthesiologist will inject an anesthetic into the blood vessel. Within a minute, you will enter a sleep state. The colonoscope examination is completed while you are asleep, and you will not feel any discomfort. Because the medication used is short-acting, after the examination, the anesthesiologist will stop administering the medication, and the effect will quickly disappear, so you will wake up immediately.
Some people may have heard of the risk of bleeding, perforation and other complications of colonoscope, but in fact, the probability of serious complications is only one in ten thousand to two in ten thousand, and it is a very safe examination, so there is no need to worry excessively. It should be noted that there are some dietary preparations a few days before the colonoscope examination. The doctor and nurse will explain some things to you, especially the need to drink a certain amount of clear water and laxatives the day before or on the day of the examination. This "intestinal cleansing" process may make you feel uncomfortable, but following the instructions as closely as possible before the examination can make the intestines cleaner and more conducive to the doctor's observation, which is very important for improving the accuracy of the examination. After the examination, the doctor will provide specific follow-up time according to each person's examination results.