Colonoscopy Pros and Cons List

Colorectal cancer is believed to be the second principal source of cancer deaths in American. A colonoscopy is the most accurate test used to check colorectal cancer. Notably, carrying out a colonoscopy can help identify and eliminate polyps which are the pre-cancerous lesions. Basically, colonoscopy is a screening test offered for colorectal cancer and is usually conducted by a doctor through the insertion of a colonoscope which is a long thin and flexible tube, into the colon via the rectum.

Colonoscopy is commonly recommended since it helps visualize the large intestines and also helps the doctor see down and across and the whole length of the colon. Nevertheless, this procedure requires ample preparation and sedation and also carries high risks like bleeding and perforation. Before colonoscopy is carried out various procedures such as emptying the bowels are carried out. The bowel is mostly emptied to rid the colon of any stool, and to ensure that the doctor has a clear view.

Bowel preparation is usually done a few days before a colonoscopy is achieved by ensuring the patient does not take any solid food. A strong laxative or a bowel preparation solution is also given to the patient the night before the test is carried out. Following the preparation directions is very vital, since an improperly prepared colon may block the polyps or other abnormalities. There are various pros and cons of colonoscopy some of which are discussed below.

List of Pros of Colonoscopy.

1. Colonoscopy can be used to detect colon cancer, and if the cancer is detected early, it becomes easy to manage or even be removed.

2. Colonoscopy can be used to detect precancerous colon polyps. When these precancerous lesions (polyps) are detected and removed, they reduce chances of a person getting cancer in future.

3. In case a person develops symptoms such as thinning of stool or having blood stained stool, colonoscopy can be performed to determine the cause of these symptoms.

4. Colonoscopy also helps a doctor diagnose various conditions of the colon such as colitis, since it helps in taking biopsies and also in visualizing explicit abnormalities.

List of Cons of Colonoscopy

1. The bowel preparation procedure is usually uncomfortable as the person undergoing the test is required to survive on liquid diets only. The person may also feel hungry. High intake of fluids during the colon prep may cause frequent urination which can also be uncomfortable.

2. Some of the laxatives used to clear the colon off stool have unpleasant tastes.

3. Colonoscopy is an expensive procedure and require to be carried out by a professional.

Colonoscopy is a sure way of detecting cancer of the colon and also helps to detect precancerous lesion which can lead to cancer. Additionally, for people experiencing a change in the characteristic and frequency of their bowel frequency, colonoscopy can be the only way to detect the cause of such symptoms. As it is said, prevention is better than cure.