Colonoscopy in Manhattan
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy (colon cancer screening) is a procedure performed by a gastroenterologist that examines the lining of your large intestine. Colonoscopies are an important diagnostic tool for screening for colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other bowel-related conditions.
Why is a colonoscopy performed?
Colonoscopies are an essential component of screening for colorectal cancer, as they can detect and treat precancerous growths that are found in up to 40% of American adults. A colonoscopy can also be used to diagnose the causes of rectal bleeding.
Government guidelines advise that individuals over 50 years of age get screened for colon cancer with a colonoscopy at regular intervals, often every 10 years. If you have a family history of colon cancer, colon cancer screening at an earlier age may be recommended.
What is colon cancer?
Cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum is known as colorectal cancer. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer may include:
- A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool that lasts longer than four weeks
- Rectal bleeding or bloody stools
- Persistent abdominal pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
Often times, many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, which is why it is important to start screening at the earliest recommended age. Colon cancer, when discovered early, is highly treatable. Even if it spreads into nearby lymph nodes, surgical treatment followed by chemotherapy is usually highly effective.
What conditions increase the risk of colon cancer?
Certain factors can increase your risk of colorectal cancer and may call for earlier or more frequent colon cancer screening. These include:
- Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Hereditary polyposis syndromes
- Familial cancer syndromes
- Heavy alcohol use
What does a colonoscopy involve?
Prior to a colonoscopy, a patient will be provided with instructions on how to prepare the body, which involves cleaning out the colon. Colon prep can take 1 to 2 days, depending on your needs and your doctor’s recommendations.
Before the procedure, you will receive a sedative intravenously so that you are relaxed and sedated and experience no discomfort. During the colonoscopy, a small flexible tube called a colonoscope will be used to examine the colon. A small video camera is attached to the colonoscope in order for the doctor to closely examine the lining of the large intestine and look for polyps. If a polyp or abnormal area is identified, special instruments will be used with the colonoscope to carefully remove the polyp and biopsy the abnormal tissue.
The procedure typically takes 30 minutes to an hour and patients are able to return home following the procedure.
Where do you perform colonoscopies?
We perform colonoscopies at Carnegie Hill Endoscopy, a 15,000 square foot, state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center (ASC), which opened in 2012. Carnegie Hill Endoscopy solely offers GI services, including colonoscopy, upper GI endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and hemorrhoid treatment. It is the first private ASC to affiliate with a Federally Qualified Health Center to offer free colon cancer screenings to the uninsured. Carnegie Hill Endoscopy is EndoChoice’s first internationally recognized Fuse Center of Excellence. The center partners with New York City-based Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Physicians Endoscopy. Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care accredited the center and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recognized it for quality. To learn more about Carnegie Hill Endoscopy, please visit www.carnegiehillendo.com.
For more information about colonoscopies or to schedule a colon cancer screening with our NYC gastroenterologists at Park Avenue Medical Professionals, contact our office at 212.427.2000. You can also make an appointment by filling out this form.