Question: I’m 50 and know that I’m supposed to go for a colonoscopy. But is there anything else I can do? I don’t like the idea of being put to sleep. There is no history of colon cancer in my family, I eat a healthy diet, and I’m not overweight.
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Colonoscopy is really the only way to properly check the colon for cancer or other abnormalities, and allows for the removal of pre-malignant polyps.
This is a real life saver and a worthwhile procedure. You do not need to be put to sleep, as other options are available. You can stay awake if you like, but the agents used to induce moderate sedation are very safe when used with appropriate monitoring.
I do recommend a hospital-based sedation, especially for those with procedural risks or co-existing medical conditions. If you decide to do a barium enema or a virtual colonoscopy instead, you will still need to repeat the prep and have a colonoscopy to remove any suspicious polyps.
You should also know that these alternatives to colonoscopy are not as effective in identifying small polyps.
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