Colon cancer is 100% preventable – but only if it’s caught in time.
While having a colonoscopy isn’t something most people get excited about, it is the gold standard when it comes to preventing, detecting and removing high-risk colon polyps. Our experts specialize in making your screening as quick, comfortable and least invasive as possible.
If you are 45* or older or have a history of polyps or colorectal cancer or have a first-degree relative with polyps or colorectal cancer – it’s time to get screened.
Learn more about the risk factors and warning signs of colon cancer.
Colonoscopy is a safe, 15- to 30-minute outpatient procedure that allows your physician to examine the lining of the entire colon (large bowel) using a flexible instrument called a colonoscope. Early cancers can be detected and easily removed during the procedure, avoiding invasive surgery and saving lives in the process.
This procedure may be recommended for you if you are 45* or older, have experienced certain colon cancer warning signs or symptoms, if you have an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or if you have a history of colon polyps or a close relative with a history of colon cancer.
Contact us today to speak with a Borland Groover Cancer Specialist.
Colonoscopy is the only colon cancer screening method that allows your gastroenterologist to visualize the entire colon and remove most polyps at the same time. That’s why colonoscopy is widely considered to be the gold standard in colon cancer screening and prevention. In fact, colonoscopy is rated above all other colorectal cancer screening methods by the American Cancer Society and the three leading gastroenterology associations.
How to prepare for your colonoscopy.
Your colon must be completely clean for the procedure to be accurate and complete. Your gastroenterologist will provide you with detailed instructions regarding specific dietary restrictions and preparation to be followed prior to your test. In general, our clinical staff will provide you with prep instructions, where to obtain your prep solution and when to start the process.
Let your physician know of any medications, major illnesses or allergies so that you can also be given instructions about these prior to the procedure.
Please follow all instructions carefully. For more details about preparing for your colonoscopy, click here.
What to expect during
Upon your arrival at the Endoscopy Center, you’ll be registered during the check-in process and given a consent form to read and sign. A clinical staff member will call you back to the pre-op area to prepare you for your colonoscopy. Your nurse will have you change into a gown, take your vitals and make sure you are comfortable. Next, our anesthesia staff will start an IV as sedation may be administered prior to your colonoscopy by our trained, certified registered nurse anesthetists, supervised by our anesthesiologists.
While lying on your side, a flexible instrument called a colonoscope will be inserted into your rectum and advanced carefully through your colon. Your gastroenterologist will then examine the lining of your bowel for polyps, lesions or cancerous growths.
If an abnormal area is seen, a biopsy of the area may be taken and prepared for pathology review. Your physician will provide the pathology results to you as soon as they are available.
The removal of high-risk colon polyps (abnormal growths) is an important means of preventing colorectal cancer. Tiny polyps may be totally destroyed by fulguration (burning), but any larger polyps will be removed through a painless technique called snare polypectomy in which the doctor passes a wire loop (snare) through the colonoscope to remove the attached polyp from your intestinal wall.
What to expect after
After the colonoscopy, you’ll be monitored for 30 to 60 minutes until you are awake and alert. You may feel bloating or cramping immediately following the procedure because of air introduced into your colon during the test.
Your gastroenterologist will speak to you afterward but you may not remember this. Therefore, with your consent, your physician will also speak with the person driving you home and our nurse will give you written instructions and the results of your procedure. Please plan to be at the Endoscopy Center for approximately 2 to 3 hours total.
Because of the sedation used, someone must drive you home following your procedure and you will be asked not to drive for the rest of the day. Most patients are allowed to resume their normal diet after leaving the Endoscopy Center.
A full report will be sent to your primary physician in a few days. Please call us immediately if you develop a fever, significant pain or bleeding following your colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy is considered a safe procedure and complications are rare. However, as with any procedure, it's important that you understand all associated risks. Make a list of questions and be prepared to talk to your physician about your colonoscopy.