Is There any Alternative to Colonscopy?

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 10:21 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I just turned 50 and my doctor told me I should have a colonoscopy. I’m reluctant to do it, mostly because I don't like being put under. Is there any alternative?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
A colonoscopy is a simple procedure where a scope evaluation of your colon is done. Usually a light sedation is useful, but by no means necessary. You do not need to be anestheized or "put under" for this procedure.
 
There is no better alternative. A virtual colonoscopy is available, but it is less sensitive in my opinion and follow-up procedures are required if it turns up a suspicious lesion that needs to be biopsied.
 
The laxative preparation for colonoscopy is the worst part of the procedure, in my opinion. But the procedure itself is a breeze, and sedation is not mandatory.

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