Colonoscopy is done under anesthesia

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Colonoscopy for the early detection of colon cancer

Colonoscopy is a sheer horror for many people. The examination is by no means painful, because the patients are given a slight anesthetic so that they do not notice anything or little about the procedure. Preparing for a colonoscopy, however, is often perceived as unpleasant. This includes drinking a laxative to empty the intestine as completely as possible.

Patients receive a well-tolerated anesthetic before colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is one of the most effective methods of screening for colon cancer and other organ diseases, such as Crohn's disease. If the doctor advises the examination, patients should definitely take it. As the German Society for Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (DGVS) explained in Berlin in the run-up to a conference, colonoscopy was less unpleasant than its reputation. An anesthetic is administered so that the patient does not get any details of the examination. A total colonoscopy takes between 20 and 30 minutes and is not painful. The patient was only woken up when the examination was completed.

Complications from anesthesia would be very rare. According to the DGVS, this would have resulted in two studies. 388,404 endoscopic examinations were evaluated for one study. In only 0.01 percent of cases, there were undesirable complications from sedation. In the second study, side effects were observed in far fewer cases. Most of the cases with complications were emergency examinations or patients with several previous illnesses.

Do not eat solid food before the colonoscopy. To prepare for an colonoscopy, the bowel must be emptied, because only when the organ is clean can the doctor recognize everything necessary, such as the condition of the intestinal mucosa, during the examination. It is therefore advisable not to eat heavy meals a few days before the examination date. Solid food is taboo the day before. Instead, several liters of liquid such as water or tea have to be drunk. Patients have to appear fasting for colonoscopy.

In order to clean the intestine as best as possible, the patients drink a laxative, which is usually dissolved in water in powder form. Since the product smells and tastes unpleasant, pieces of orange or lemon can be sucked beforehand. The intense taste of the citrus fruits is perceived as pleasant, making drinking the laxative easier. Covering your nose while drinking can also help. Clear broth and white tea work against the feeling of hunger.

Three to four days before the colonoscopy, you should not eat full-bodied fruit or finely crushed grain or whole-grain bread. The small nuclei and particles can remain in the intestine and clog the examination device.

Many patients freeze after a colonoscopy Because the body is weakened by the drainage and the examination procedure, many patients freeze. It is therefore advisable to bring thick socks, a warm sweater and a jacket for colonoscopy. Replacement underwear is also useful.

Since the patient receives anesthesia before the examination, he should not go home alone or drive a car after the reflection. Ideally, the person concerned is brought to the appointment by an accompanying person and then picked up again.

Colonoscopy for the early detection of colon cancer Colon cancer or a so-called colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer-related death in both sexes in Germany, according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). There is a family cluster in about 25 percent of cases.

Two tests are standard for the early detection of colon cancer: the examination of the stool sample for invisible blood, as tumors and polyps sometimes bleed, and the colonoscopy. Early detection examinations are carried out once a year for all those insured from the age of 50 to 54 in the form of a stool examination and, in the event of abnormal findings, in the form of a large colonoscopy from the health insurance company. From the age of 55, the insured are free to choose between a stool test and a large colonoscopy every two years. As the IQWiG informs, the politicians with the cancer screening and registration law, which has been in force since April 2013, have lifted the age limits, so that particularly vulnerable groups can use colon cancer screening earlier. (ag)

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