Colorectal cancer cases are on the rise in the United States, particularly amongst younger adults. As an experienced general and vascular surgeon in South Charleston, West Virginia, David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, performs comprehensive colonoscopy exams to detect changes in your colon and rectum. Colonoscopies help identify abnormal polyps, cancerous lesions, and other abnormalities in the large intestine. To schedule an appointment with David Ranson, MD, FACS, call the office or book online today.
A colonoscopy is an exam of the inside of your large intestine. It uses a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope to view your entire colon. The colonoscope attaches to a small camera that Dr. Ranson uses to view the inside of your large intestine.
During a colonoscopy, Dr. Ranson inserts the long tube into your rectum, allowing him to see any abnormal changes in both the colon and rectum.
If he suspects that you have any polyps or abnormal tissue in your colon, Dr. Ranson may remove a sample for testing.
Dr. Ranson may suggest performing a colonoscopy to:
Experts recommend getting a colonoscopy at least once every 10 years once you turn 50. If colorectal cancer runs in your family or your exam produces abnormal results, Dr. Ranson may recommend having a colonoscopy sooner and more frequently to prevent cancer.
If you experience uncomfortable intestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, or rectal bleeding, a colonoscopy can help Dr. Ranson identify problems in your large intestine.
Polyps are abnormal tissue growths that can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). If Dr. Ranson uncovers a polyp during your colonoscopy, he may schedule a follow-up exam to check for additional growths.
Your colon needs to be entirely empty before a colonoscopy to give Dr. Ranson a clear view of your entire large intestine. To ensure your colon is empty, you’ll follow a special liquid diet the day before the procedure.
For the best results, you may also need to take a laxative before the procedure. If you’re experiencing severe constipation, an at-home enema kit can also help empty your bowels the day before your visit.
Talk to Dr. Ranson about any medications you’re currently taking before your appointment, as you may need to temporarily adjust your intake of certain supplements and medications.
Dr. Ranson will typically sedate you before a colonoscopy to minimize discomfort. During the procedure, you lie on your side and draw your knees to your chest before Dr. Ranson inserts the colonoscope.
As this long tube moves through your entire colon, Dr. Ranson pumps air inside to inflate it and get a better view of any abnormalities.
If necessary, Dr. Ranson inserts special instruments to take tissue samples for testing. The entire exam should take less than an hour.
A colonoscopy is a safe, effective test that can help prevent colon cancer. To learn more, call David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, or book an appointment online today.