Colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your physician to examine the lining of the colon for abnormalities (such as polyps—abnormal growths in the lining of the colon—or bowel disease) by inserting a flexible tube into the anus and advancing it slowly into the rectum and colon.

If polyps are found during the colonoscopy, they will be removed and sent for analysis to determine if they are
benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). While colonoscopy and polypectomy (removal of polyps) are generally safe, complications can occur, although rare. Complications may include:

  • Perforation or tear through bowel wall that may require surgery;
  • Bleeding which is usually minor and stops on its own;
  • Rarely, blood transfusions or surgery may be required.

Although complications after colonoscopy are uncommon, it is important to recognize early signs of complications including:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Large amount of rectal bleeding

These symptoms should be reported to your doctor.

In spite of these rare complications, colonoscopy remains the gold-standard for colon cancer screening. Screening colonoscopy can detect and remove polyps up to ten years before cancer develops!

Routine colonoscopy should begin at age 50 or earlier if there is a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, or other risk factors. Without any of the aforementioned risk factors, after the initial screening at age 50, colonoscopy is recommended once every ten years for early detection of colon cancer. Since polyps grow very slowly, this timeframe allows for the detection and removal of polyps before cancerous changes begin.

If you are interested in being screened for colon cancer or polyps, call our office at (815) 717-8730 to
direct-schedule your colonoscopy (without the need for a pre-screening appointment).

We serve all communities and are conveniently located near Frankfort, Homer Glen, Joliet, Mokena, Morris, Orland Park and Tinley Park.