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The Importance of Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy screening saves lives in two important ways:
1. By finding and removing precancerous polyps before they become cancerous
2. By detecting the cancer early when it is most treatable

Both men and women should undergo testing for the disease beginning at age 50. People with a high risk for colorectal cancer and those with a family history should talk with their doctor about being screened at an earlier age. A study by leading cancer groups found that colorectal cancer deaths have declined nearly five percent (2002-2004), in part due to prevention through screening and the removal of precancerous polyps.

Colonoscopy may be used for the following reasons:
• Abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, or weight loss
• Abnormal changes (such as polyps) found on sigmoidoscopy or x-ray tests (CT scan or barium enema)
• Anemia due to low iron (usually when no other cause has been found)
• Blood in the stool, or black, tarry stools
• Follow-up of a past finding, such as polyps or colon cancer
• Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease)
• Screening for colorectal cancer

Colonoscopy is a test which allows the doctor to look directly at the lining of the large intestine or colon. The test is performed using a colonoscope, a flexible tube about the thickness of the index finger. Sometimes samples of tissue (biopsies) are taken from the lining of the bowel for laboratory examination. At other times polyps, which are projections of tissue rather like warts, are found and removed during the same procedure. The test itself takes about 20-30 minutes, but may be longer if polyps have to be removed. You can normally be discharged home soon after the procedure.

Here at the Meadowlands Hospital we have a single goal - to provide patients dealing with colorectal disorders the best available care, utilizing the most advanced equipment and techniques, to achieve the best possible outcome. Our experienced doctors regularly perform colonoscopy and other related challenging surgical procedures. So whether your condition is simple or complex, you can rest assured that you’ll receive world-class treatment and compassionate care.

Here we treat some of the most difficult and prevalent colorectal disorders. MHMC wraps its medical facilities in a comfortable, patient-friendly environment to help put you at ease. It’s the latest example of our commitment to provide the highest level of care and if you are in need of colonoscopy procedure you can always contact us at 201-392-3588 and schedule a consultation with our health professionals.