Colonoscopies are the most effective way to detect polyps in the colon. Left untreated, polyps may become cancerous, leading to potentially fatal colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancers generally have no pain or other side effects until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage, making early detection essential. Your doctor will recommend a screening colonoscopy when you turn 50 years of age, or younger if you have a family history of cancer.
Most polyps that are detected during your colonoscopy can be removed during the procedure. Small or flat polyps will removed immediately and sent to be tested for any cancer cells. If a large polyp is discovered during your procedure, Dr. Haque is trained to perform a procedure called Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR), which allows him to remove even large polyps immediately rather than have to schedule a second procedure for surgical removal of the polyp. Dr. Haque is one of the first doctors in the country trained to perform EMR and is still one of just a handful of gastroenterologists in Southern Maryland who can perform the procedure.
Dr. Haque performs hundreds of colonoscopies each year in the Calvert Endoscopy Center.
Preparing for Your Procedure
Providing a clear field of vision is critically important for a successful colonoscopy. You will need to restrict food intake for up to 3 days prior to your procedure, move to a totally clear liquid diet for 24 hours prior to your procedure, and begin a regimen of over-the-counter laxatives the day before and prescription laxatives the evening before and morning of your procedure.
If you take over-the-counter or prescription medications, you may need to stop or delay taking them for a period of time before your procedure. Dr. Haque will review your medication list and discuss with you what you should stop, delay or continue to take.
You will be sedated for the procedure, so you will need to be sure that you have someone to bring you to and take you home after the procedure. You will not be allowed to drive yourself.
After the procedure, you will be in recovery for a short time while the sedation wears off. Dr. Haque will review any immediate results with you while you are in recovery, and you will be allowed to go home. You may be groggy for the rest of the day, and can eat a small meal when you get home. You will be able to resume normal activities the next day.
Click here to read some frequently asked questions about colonoscopies, how to prepare and what to expect.