Colonoscopy represents a major advance in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the colon and rectum. M. Jonathan Worsey, MD, FRCS, FACS, FASCRS, and Keith Beiermeister, MD, FACS, FASCRS, offer comprehensive colonoscopy services at San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons in La Jolla, California. Dr. Worsey and Dr. Beiermeister provide diagnostic evaluations and preventive colonoscopy screenings.

If you need a diagnosis of unexplained symptoms, schedule a consultation for a colonoscopy by calling San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons or request an appointment online today.

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What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic and preventive screening tool that can identify abnormalities and diseases in your colon and rectum. Dr. Worsey and Dr. Beiermeister can also use a colonoscopy to remove polyps which are known to develop into cancers if left untreated.

Dr. Beiermeister and Dr. Worsey offer colonoscopy services on an outpatient basis at multiple endoscopy centers on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. They recommend the procedure to confirm the presence of polyps and colon cancer. They can also request a colonoscopy to diagnose the root cause of symptoms like:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation

You could also need a colonoscopy as a preventive screening if your family’s medical history or other conditions put you at a greater risk of developing colon cancer.

What can I expect during a colonoscopy?

Before your colonoscopy appointment, Dr. Beiermeister and Dr. Worsey provide instructions on how to clean out your colon to ensure accurate results from your test. This generally involves taking a prescription bowel preparation the day prior to your procedure.

During a colonoscopy, your physician provides a sedative to help you relax. They insert the colonoscope into your rectum and watch the images that transfer from the camera to an external monitor to identify polyps and other abnormal growths.

Dr. Worsey and Dr. Beiermeister will pump small amounts of air into your colon to expand it so that they can better visualize it through the colonoscope. The procedure shouldn’t be painful, but you could feel abdominal cramping throughout your exam and for a time afterward.

If polyps or other suspicious tissue is found, your doctor inserts special instruments through the tube to take a tissue sample. They can also remove polyps completely during your colonoscopy for lab evaluation.

How long does it take to recover from a colonoscopy?

You can expect to spend a brief period right after your colonoscopy recovering from the sedative. You’ll need someone to take you home.

It’s normal to see small amounts of blood in your bowel movements after a colonoscopy. Gas and bloating are also common and should get better within a few hours. You can return to your usual activities the next day without limitations.

Dr. Beiermeister and Dr. Worsey discuss the findings before you leave. However, if tissue is removed, the final pathology may not be available for up to one week. The doctors or office staff will call you once these results are finalized.

To learn more about the uses of colonoscopy, call San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons or request a consultation through the online booking feature today.