FAQs About a Colonoscopy

Did you just turn 45 years old? If so, this is the perfect time to remind you that you should be turning to our Burlingame, CA, gastroenterologists, Dr. Ernest Ribera, for your routine colonoscopy. We know it isn’t the birthday present you were expecting, but it could just save your life. We compiled answers to the top questions about colonoscopies. 

When Should I Start Getting a Colonoscopy?

If you are over the age of 45 years old, then it’s highly recommended that you get this screening for colorectal cancer, as those over the age of 45 are at an increased risk. It’s vital that you continue to get these routine screenings until around 75 years old.  

Suppose you have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease or have a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer. In that case, you may want to speak with our Burlingame, CA, team to determine if you should get your first routine colonoscopy before age 45. 

How Often Should I Get a Routine Colonoscopy?

Once you turn 45 years old, it’s advised that you get a colonoscopy every ten years. Of course, depending on the results of your first colonoscopy, we will talk with you to determine if you need to get one more often (this might be the case if you have an increased risk of colorectal cancer).  

Why Is a Colonoscopy Performed?

A colonoscopy is an excellent diagnostic and screening tool and the best way for our gastroenterologist to be able to check the health of the colon (large intestines) and rectum since a thin endoscope with a camera is used to capture detailed video and images of the lining of the colon and rectum to look for abnormalities or warning signs of colorectal cancer.  

How Do I Prepare for a Colonoscopy?

Your colon will need to be completely clear before we can perform a colonoscopy. This means you cannot consume any solid foods the day before and the day of your procedure. Our gastroenterologist will also prescribe a colon prep to clean out the colon before your procedure.  

How Long Will the Procedure Take?

The procedure usually takes about 20 minutes to complete but may last longer if we detect and need to remove polyps. Patients will be given heavy sedation to help them feel relaxed and sleepy during the procedure.

Need to schedule your colonoscopy with Dr. Ribera in Burlingame, CA? If so, call Burlingame Gastroenterology & Hepatology today at (650) 342-6506 to book your appointment with us.

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