Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

How Often Should I Have a Colonoscopy?

How Often Should I Have a Colonoscopy?

“Colonoscopy” is a term that might stir up feelings of discomfort or uncertainty. It's a medical procedure often associated with preventive health care, particularly if you’re reaching a certain age or have a family history of colorectal issues. 

Once you schedule your first colonoscopy, you may wonder if you’re one and done or if it’s a screening you need to have often. 

Here at Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery in Snellville, Georgia, colonoscopies are one of the many common procedures that Dr. Aliu O. Sanni performs. As an expert in his field, he can answer any questions you might have.

Let’s explore the topic of colonoscopies.

Why colonoscopies are important

Understanding the importance of having colonoscopies begins with acknowledging their role in colorectal cancer prevention and detection. 

Colon cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide, with significant mortality rates if not detected early. Fortunately, colonoscopies serve as a primary tool for both prevention and early diagnosis. 

During a colonoscopy, Dr. Sanni examines the interior of your colon for abnormalities like polyps, which could potentially develop into cancerous growths over time. During the procedure, you’re sedated, and it only takes about 15-30 minutes.

How often do you need a colonoscopy?

The answer varies depending on several factors, including your age, personal health history, and family medical history.

If you have an average risk of colorectal cancer, most medical guidelines recommend starting regular colonoscopies at the age of 50 and repeating them every 10 years, assuming no abnormalities are found. But these guidelines may differ based on your risk factors.

Risk factors that warrant screening early and frequently

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or other significant risk factors, such as a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, we may recommend increasing the frequency of your colonoscopies. 

In such cases, Dr. Sanni may advise that you start screenings earlier, and he may suggest scheduling them every five years or even more often based on your circumstances.

If you had certain types of polyps during a previous colonoscopy, Dr. Sanni may recommend more frequent screenings. For instance, if you have a history of adenomatous polyps, which are considered precancerous, you may need more frequent screenings than if you didn’t have such polyps.

Also, as you age, the risk of developing colorectal cancer can rise. So if you’re an older adult, you may need to continue undergoing colonoscopies past the age of 75, depending on your overall health status and previous screening results.

Understanding the risks of the procedure

While colonoscopies are highly effective in detecting colorectal cancer and precancerous lesions, they’re not without risks. Complications such as bleeding and perforation can occur, although they’re very rare — especially when working with a highly skilled surgeon like Dr. Sanni.

At Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery, the decision to undergo a colonoscopy involves a thorough discussion between you and Dr. Sanni so you can weigh the potential benefits against the risks.

What’s next?

Whether you’ve never had a colonoscopy or you want to learn more about how often you should have one, schedule a consultation with our team today. We can answer your questions, learn about your medical history, and find out if you have any concerning symptoms. 

Our goal is to put you at ease and give guidance on the next steps for keeping your health at its best.

Call our friendly staff in Snellville, Georgia, today at 201-565-0876 or click here to request an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Acid Reflux Serious?

Is Acid Reflux Serious?

A burning feeling in your chest area might happen on occasion after a big meal, but if you suffer from acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, you need to take a closer look at how it could be affecting your health.

Will a Hernia Resolve on Its Own?

If you have symptoms of a hernia, don’t delay a medical evaluation. Your condition can worsen without the proper guidance on how to manage it, and it may even require surgery. Keep reading to learn more.
Can Weight Loss Surgery Reverse My Diabetes?

Can Weight Loss Surgery Reverse My Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, losing weight can be one of the most promising ways to achieve better health. It can even reverse the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. Let’s explore the topic here.