A Potentially Life-Saving Procedure
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the USA with equal in incidence in men and women. For patients with no family history of colon cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends screening at age 50. Future exams are planned based on the findings.
What is a Colonoscopy?
- Colonoscopy is the most accurate test to detect colon polyps and colon cancer, and the only test where polyps can be removed.
- During this procedure, a doctor examines the lining of your large intestine through a flexible tube called a colonoscope.
- The colonoscope is inserted into the anus and advanced slowly through the colon.
- If polyps or other abnormalities are found, the doctor may remove them for further examination or biopsy.
How Do I Prepare for the Exam?
Preparation begins three days before your scheduled appointment. Please follow all of the instructions carefully so that the procedure will be successful and will not need to be rescheduled or repeated.
To produce the best and most accurate results, your colon must be completely clean.
You will drink a special bowel cleansing preparation to help clean out your colon.
You will also need to follow a special diet several days prior to your scheduled colonoscopy.
Open Access Colonoscopy
Over 50? You know you need a colonoscopy.
Screening is now even more convenient!
Open Access Colonoscopy allows healthy patients without significant gastrointestinal symptoms to have a colonoscopy WITHOUT the inconvenience of a preliminary office visit. It saves time, money, and most importantly it saves lives.
Our highly trained nurses can determine if you qualify for this program. If you feel you are a candidate, contact our office today. We will contact you to review your medical history, ensuring it is safe to proceed with the procedure without a preliminary appointment. If you qualify, we will obtain your insurance information for verification and get you the proper paperwork to complete. Once you return the paperwork, we contact you with an appointment date and time and instructions for preparing for your visit.
What Happens During a Colonoscopy Exam?
Plan to spend up to two hours at the endoscopy center the day of your colonoscopy. The exam itself takes approximately 20 to 40 minutes to complete.
Even though the visit should take only one to two hours, you need to be prepared to take the day off from work, mainly because of the medications used during your procedure.
Since you will be under sedation during the procedure, you will need someone who can drive you home!
Before the Exam:
- You will change into a gown and robe.
- You will be asked about your medical history, and family history of colon cancer.
- You will be given a consent form to sign.
- A nurse will insert an intravenous (IV) line into your hand or arm.
During the Exam:
- You will be given medicine through the IV line to help you relax.
- You will lie on your left side.
- Your heart rate and oxygen levels will be monitored continusly. If your blood pressure is low you may be given fluids thru your IV line.
- The doctor will insert a flexible, hollow tube - called a colonoscope - into your anus and will advance it slowly through the rectum and colon, looking for abnormal tissue, or polyps.
- You may have a feeling of pressure, bloating or mild cramping.
- If abnormal tissue or polyps are found, the doctor may remove them through the colonoscope for closer examination or biopsy. Tissue removal is painless.
After the Exam:
- You will rest for 30 minutes after the colonoscopy.
- The doctor will talk with you about the initial results of your examination.
- The doctor will prepare a full report for the physician who referred you for the colonoscopy.
- Medications given during the exam will prohibit you from driving for the rest of the day, and you should avoid alcohol on the day of the exam.
- Following the exam, you may resume your normal diet.
- You may have some cramping or bloating after the procedure. This is normal and should disappear quickly by passing gas.
- You may resume your regular activities the day after the procedure.
- If you take blood thinning medication such as aspirin, Coumadin or Plavix be sure and clarify instruction before you leave.
- A nurse will provide you with complete discharge instructions before you leave the endoscopy center.
- Any tissue samples or polyps removed during the exam will be sent to a lab for evaluation. It may take 5-7 working days to be notified of the results.