A colonoscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgical procedure intended to check the condition of the colon. It’s performed most often by gastrointestinal specialists in digestive health clinics. During the actual surgical procedure, a specialist will insert a flexible tube into the anus. The tube is long enough to travel from the anus into the colon and has a small video camera attached to one end so that the specialist can see the inside of the patient’s colon.
Although it’s generally recommended that in-office colonoscopies are performed, your doctor may prescribe an at-home colonoscopy kit to you. To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each, keep reading the bulleted lists below.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of going to a colonoscopy doctor?
- Increased accuracy — In-office colonoscopies are notoriously more accurate than at-home colonoscopies. Colonoscopy doctors are able to detect polyps more easily with the video camera inside the colon.
- Faster removal of polyps — While you’re undergoing your colonoscopy in-office, your doctor can immediately remove any precancerous polyps in the event that there was any inside of your colon.
- Less comfortable — Many people dread the procedure because it may be uncomfortable for a short period after the procedure. However, patients are given an anesthetic so that they cannot feel the tube during the process.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using an at-home colonoscopy?
- Decreased accuracy — The accuracy of an at-home colonoscopy kit is less than that of the in-office procedure. The method for identifying cancerous polyps is by identifying the presence of blood in the stool just by eyesight, which can leave a large margin of error.
- Requires a follow-up procedure to remove polyps — If your at-home colonoscopy kit does reveal any precancerous polyps, you will have to schedule a follow-up appointment for a removal procedure. This may elongate the amount of time you’ll have to wait before removing a potentially cancerous polyp from your body.
- More comfortable — At-home colonoscopy screenings may be more comfortable for some patients. They’re performed by collecting a stool sample on your own. You send it to your colonoscopy doctor’s office for testing and then wait for the results.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Center for Digestive Health with any further questions!
Still wondering what other things you should know about digestive health services? Are you not sure why you might need care, or maybe you are looking for more information or have other digestive health questions? Please don’t wait to reach out to one of our team members for help. Our team of GI specialists has the training and experience to answer any questions you may have. They can also help you find the most effective treatments for your conditions and for common GI issues.
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