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Mark Bazalgette, M.D.

Colorectal Surgeon & Proctologist located in Novato, CA

No one wants a colonoscopy, but this diagnostic and therapeutic test is vital to maintaining the health of your rectum and colon. At his practice in Novato, California, Mark Bazalgette, M.D., is the only specialty-trained and board-certified colorectal surgeon in the area providing expert advice and procedures like colonoscopies. To schedule a colonoscopy, call Dr. Bazalgette or schedule an appointment online today.

Colonoscopy Q & A

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What is a colonoscopy?

Dr. Bazalgette performs a colonoscopy to look for signs of problems or abnormalities in your colon and rectum.

Your colon is also called your large bowel and large intestine. This organ removes water from your digested food, creating waste, also called stool. This material continues moving through your colon, where it’s stored in your rectum before it leaves your body through your anus.

During a colonoscopy, Dr. Bazalgette inserts a colonoscope into your anus. This device has a long, flexible tube with a video camera so Dr. Bazalgette can examine your rectum and colon.

Why do I need a colonoscopy?

Dr. Bazalgette might recommend a colonoscopy for either diagnostic or therapeutic reasons.

Diagnosing intestinal issues

This colorectal exam can help Dr. Bazalgette identify the cause of several intestinal symptoms, like rectal bleeding, chronic constipation or diarrhea, or abdominal pain. A colonoscopy can also help find answers for unexplained weight loss.

Colon cancer screening

Dr. Bazalgette uses a colonoscopy to prevent and detect colon cancer in adults 45 and older. Because your risks of colon cancer may vary, Dr. Bazalgette creates a recommendation plan based on your overall health and your personal and family medical histories.

Finding and removing polyps

Polyps are a type of growth that develops in the inner lining of your colon. Not all polyps are dangerous, but some can become cancerous. Dr. Bazalgette can check for polyps and remove them if necessary during a colonoscopy to help reduce your chances of developing colon cancer in the future.

What can I expect during a colonoscopy?

Before your colonoscopy, Dr. Bazalgette provides detailed instructions to help you prepare. It’s essential to follow the directions closely to completely empty your colon and rectum before your colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy preparations often include:

  • Following a certain diet or avoiding certain types of foods like seeds
  • Taking laxative preparations like Suprep®, Clenpiq™, or Miralax®
  • Adjusting your medications

Colonoscopies take 20-60 minutes, and Dr. Bazalgette provides mild sedation to keep you comfortable. At different points of your procedure, you might have mild abdominal cramping or feel the need to defecate. Otherwise, the discomfort is minimal.

After your colonoscopy, you’ll need to rest for the remainder of the day. It’s also common to experience temporary bloating and gas.

If it’s time for a colonoscopy, or to find out more, call Dr. Bazalgette or schedule an appointment online today.