A colonoscopy is a test that allows Dr. Gaston to examine the lining of your colon, also referred to as the large intestine, for abnormalities. He uses a colonoscope: A thin, flexible tube with a lens and a light that projects the inside of your colon onto a video monitor. These tests are used to screen for cancer, polyps, and other disorders of the large intestine.
While many gastroenterologists require patients to have the procedure done at a hospital, Dr. Gaston can do it right in his office.
Dr. Gaston recommends a colonoscopy for anyone who’s at risk for colorectal cancer. As the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, an average of 150,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year. Since a colonoscopy is a screening test, it has the potential to save at least 30,000 lives a year.
Dr. Gaston may also order a colonoscopy when you have bleeding, chronic diarrhea, or pain near the colon.
Colonoscopies require preparation. Dr. Gaston discusses specific dietary restrictions, as well as the type of colon cleansing that’s needed.
Most cases require that you have a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure. You may also be given a cleaning solution or oral laxatives to clear your bowels. Either one helps clean the colon, allowing Dr. Gaston to examine the large intestine thoroughly.
If you take medications, discuss them with Dr. Gaston before the procedure. While most medications are safe to take, some may cause issues during the colonoscopy, including:
Dr. Gaston performs colonoscopies in his Chicago office, so there’s no need to go to the hospital for the procedure. He may administer a sedative or pain medication before the colonoscopy, and asks that you bring someone with you to drive you home.
When Dr. Gaston performs a colonoscopy, he positions you on your side or back and inserts a colonoscope through your anus and into your large intestine. He’s able to maneuver it and examine your bowels by controlling the colonoscope with the endoscope handle.
Once the procedure is complete, the colonoscope is gently removed. The whole process takes around 45 minutes, although 2-3 hours may be needed for recovery.
When you want the convenience of an in-office colonoscopy, contact Dr. Gaston, MD at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants. Call the office to schedule your appointment or book it online today.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!