Scheduling a Colonoscopy in Los Angeles

Scheduling Colonoscopies in Los AngelesWhen is your next colonoscopy in Los Angeles? If you are like most people, this isn’t something you think about all the time—that is, of course, unless your next colonoscopy is quickly approaching.

Many people don’t think too hard about the frequency of their colonoscopies, but maybe you should. You know your personal health better than anyone else. You know your medical history, your family’s medical history, your bowel habits and how long it has been since your last colonoscopy—so who better to sit down and decide when your next examination should be?

A colonoscopy is a visual examination that uses a specialized scope to capture images of the inside of the colon, or large intestine. During the course of a colonoscopy examination your colorectal surgeon can obtain biopsies, examine abnormalities and assess the overall health of the large intestine. Without a colonoscopy it becomes very difficult to determine if precancerous growths like polyps are present, which means that skipping your colonoscopy could actually increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. There are some guidelines that dictate when colonoscopies should be done.

Colonoscopy Guidelines

If you have not already spoken with your colorectal specialist about when your next colonoscopy should be, now is a good time to do so. Here are the preliminary guidelines of when, how often and why you should have a colonoscopy.

Regular Screenings

Every man and woman should have a colonoscopy at the age of 50, especially if they have never had a colonoscopy before. The reason for this standard screening procedure is to examine the health of the intestines and evaluate for the presence of colorectal cancer, the onset of which commonly begins around the age of 50.

After the initial colonoscopy, these screening examinations are recommended at five to 10 year intervals until the age of 75. Following the age of 75 the decision to continue getting colonoscopies will be based on your medical history and overall risk of colorectal cancer.

High Risk Candidates

More frequent colonoscopies are recommended for those with a heightened risk of colorectal cancer. This includes individuals with a prior history of gastrointestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease or those who have previously been diagnosed with colon polyps.

Having a history of these conditions will call for colonoscopy screenings prior to the age of 50. For those who meet these stipulations colonoscopies are often recommended annually.

Getting a colonoscopy can be an important part of staying healthy and free of colon cancer. Your colorectal specialist can help you determine when to have your next examination.