Colonoscopy Prevention, testing, David SchechterIf you’re a patient of my practice or are considering being one, you will know that I never force a patient to do anything they do not want to do.  However I will advocate strongly for tests and procedures that I believe can be of benefit to you such as a colonoscopy.

I feel that colonoscopy is one of those tests.  Everyone should get one at age 50 (higher risk patients earlier; African-American patients at 45 per guidelines).  Get another in 5-10 years after your first, sooner if any polyps are found.  Keep getting them until at least age 75.  I feel that no one needs to die of colon cancer.  Just get this test and keep the polyps from growing and changing into the cancers of tomorrow.

Is it horrible?  The preparation drink the day before is not pleasant.  It doesn’t taste great and it makes you go to the bathroom many times to clean yourself out.  It’s not a fun evening before, I will admit.  The procedure itself– this is where everyone is apprehensive.  But nowadays, most patients are given an intravenous (IV), put lightly to sleep with an anesthetic, and awaken in the recovery area well-rested.  You miss one day of work and you mark one area of the body off the ‘worry’ list.  That is really important.

So get a colonoscopy.  I can refer you to gastroenterology (GI) doctors who do the procedure in their office, in a surgical center, at Cedars Sinai Hospital, or elsewhere.  You double check that they are providers for your health insurance, that the facility is as well, and the anesthesiologist who makes the procedure so easy.  Then you meet the doctor for a visit and schedule the test.

I feel really strongly about the test and I’ve had it done myself, so I know of what I speak.