If you’ve scheduled in a colonoscopy, or if it has been recommended that you do so by a doctor -whether it be due to some kind of family history or simple for a check-up – it’s quite likely that you’ll have a few questions that you might want to follow up on. To get you thinking more about things you might want to know, in this article we take a look at a few things you might want to ask your doctor but had not yet considered, as this food for thought can make the whole procedure much less intimidating.
The first things to ask
Generally, a colonoscopy is intended to find any precancerous polyps – a quality colonoscopy will therefore find examples of this tissue and then have tests run on the polyps to see how harmful the growth is. Your colonoscopist is actually measured to see how well they perform with regard to finding examples of cancerous and non-cancerous tissue, which can certainly be useful for patients. With this in mind, one of the first things you should ask your colonoscopist is what their adenoma (or polyp) detection rate is. This is basically a way for you to find out how many average-risk patients over the age of 50 are found to have at a bare minimum of one adenoma found during their colonoscopy screening. With this, the higher the percentage, the more success your colonoscopist has had with their screenings. It is often also worth asking about the preparation of the colonoscopy, and specifically what happens due to poor preparation. When it comes to a colonoscopy, preparation is not a fun time, so making sure all of the instructions are extra clear can help prevent the need for you to repeat all of the laxative and liquid meal steps again.
More questions to keep in mind
If you want to know more about your colonoscopy, a good question to ask is about when to return for a follow-up appointment. Many patients will be surprised to know that they only need a colonoscopy once every ten years, but in some cases a patient might need to come back earlier – this is not necessarily a cause for alarm, and might be due to family history of bowel cancer or due to the procedure not going as planned, which can happen. To ensure you don’t leave it too late, double checking is always a good idea. It’s also never a bad idea to find out how long the colonoscopy will actually take – although you might have an understanding of how long the procedure itself might take, this often doesn’t take into consideration all of the preparations and recovery time you will also have to invest. Having a rough estimate allows you to make the right amount of time for the procedure without having to rush (which is something you certainly don’t want).
Being prepared for your colonoscopy
To make things a little bit easier, it’s never a bad idea to come prepared with any information related to past colonoscopies you’ve had, as this can eliminate a lot of admin time. This information can also help your colonoscopist ask you the right questions, which can help make the colonoscopy even healthier.