Colonoscopy is a basic test for colorectal cancer, the third most common type in Brazil, according to the Inca (National Cancer Institute). Typically, the procedure is indicated from the age of 45 (formerly 50 years old), but some people may (or should have) done it earlier because of a family history of cancer, in addition to suspicion of having cancer. changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, excessive diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal pain.
The preparation can be really boring, but the procedure is quick and painless, as it is considered a therapeutic method, as it is possible to remove polyps (the accumulation of cells, which multiplies rapidly and looks like a wart). same procedure.colonoscopy.
Everything about colonoscopy
What is a colonoscopy?
It is an endoscopic examination with a microdevice, which has a camera at the end, which enters the anus and examines the rectum, large intestine and the last part of the small intestine (ileum). From there, the doctor can evaluate polyps (such as small warts) and diverticulitis using images.small bags in the wall of the large intestine called the diverticulum), tumors or bleeding in areas where the tube passes.
What is the purpose of the study?
The main functions of endoscopy are to investigate or study the symptoms of colorectal cancer or possible inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Signs that may cause attention include constant diarrhea, bleeding in the stool, abdominal pain, weight loss, and changes in bowel habits (sometimes constipation, sometimes laxity).
In addition, the study has other benefits, according to Henrique Perobelli, a gastroproctologist at the São Camilo Hospital Network in São Paulo. “In addition to preventing colonoscopies, it treats possible lesions that could be cancerous to the patient in the future,” he says. “Polyps [pequenas verrugas]for example, it can be removed during the exam, ”he explained.
How is a colonoscopy prepared?
That’s the section that patients complain about the most, according to doctors. That’s because preparing for the exam can be boring. The day before involves a low-fiber diet, consuming more water and fluids (tea, coconut water or filtered juice), as well as using laxatives, which promote severe diarrhea hours before colonoscopy. This preparation can be done at home or in a hospital or clinic, depending on the patient.
The idea, Denis thinks Priolliis a colorectalist and coordinator of the medical course at the Faculty of Pythagoras, in Codó (MA), where there is a complete bowel cleansing so that doctors can properly assess the regions.
“It’s where the feces are in the large intestine, so to see the wall, we have to remove the contents. It’s like a house full of furniture, and to look at the walls, whether there are holes or not, all the furniture has to be removed,” said a gastroenterologist.
According to Prioli, it is ideal to wait for the stool to come out of the yellow liquid, as if it were urine. “So we know that the intestine is clean and we can see it. If there is feces in it, something hidden can pass through,” he explained.
From what age should it be done?
According to the experts consulted Live wellColonoscopy is now a common examination for people over the age of 45 – previously the recommended age was 50 years. This means that if she has never had a procedure before, she should be able to do so from that age group.
“At this age we start screening for colorectal cancer and colonoscopy is an excellent diagnostic test,” said HC-UFPE (Hospital das Clínicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco), a procologist at the Orcina Duarte Ebserh network.
If normal, the test can be done every 10 years, depending on the patient, or every 5 years – the recommendation may vary depending on your doctor’s advice.
Who should do a colonoscopy?
People with colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease should have a colonoscopy before the age of 45, as well as patients with symptoms such as changes in bowel habits (sometimes constipation, sometimes diarrhea), weight loss, bloody stools. , severe abdominal pain.
“If this person’s mother, for example, had colorectal cancer at age 40, she would have to have a colonoscopy at age 30 to catch the lesions before she became cancer,” she explains. Perobelli.
In addition, patients undergoing radiotherapy for pelvic, ovarian, or prostate tumors should be examined 3 years after the end of treatment. According to the UFPE doctor, radiotherapy increases the risk of cancer at the site. That’s why it’s important for this team to be followed up.
What can the exam identify?
Polyps (which can be removed during the test), bleeding, inflammation, tumors and diverticulitissmall bags in the wall of the large intestine called the diverticulum). If colorectal cancer is suspected, a material is collected and sent for biopsy.
How long does it last?
It depends on each patient, but the colonoscopy lasts an average of 20 to 40 minutes.
“The intestines are harder, more flexible, and more elastic, which can impede the passage of the device (microdevice). Alexandre Marsillac, coloprottologist at São Vicente de Paulo Hospital (RJ) and head of the Brazilian Association of Surgeons.
Does colonoscopy cause pain?
No. As with endoscopy, a study that examines the digestive tract in which patients are sedated and fall asleep. What can happen, according to experts, is discomfort with gas after colonoscopy, which is fixed with the drug (simethicone).
Although it is a minimal test, it should be performed in a hospital or clinic with the help of an anesthetist. The examining professional must be an endoscopist or coloproctologist.
How does anesthesia work before the exam?
The patient is sedated to sleep and does not feel any discomfort during the examination. This is why colonoscopy should be performed in clinics or hospitals (especially when the elderly) to monitor the person throughout the procedure.
After the examination, there is a recovery time until the person can wake up and return home, always with a friend over the age of 18.
How is the patient after the examination?
Well. What he can feel is a gas sensation that can be fixed with the medicine. It is also not advisable to make big decisions on this day because of the effects of sedatives, as well as driving or performing any risky activity. Therefore, the patient must be accompanied by a patient over the age of 18 for the examination.
Alexandre MarsillacColoproctologist (RJ) at São Vicente de Paulo Hospital and head of the Brazilian Association of Surgeons; Denise Priollicoloproctologist and coordinator of the Medical Course at the Faculty of Pythagoras, Codó (MA); Henrique Perobelli, Gastroproctologist at the São Camilo Hospital Network in São Paulo; and Orcina DuarteHC-UFPE Proctologist (Hospital das Clínicas, Federal University of Pernambuco), Ebserh Network.