Early Detection. Effective Treatment.
Colonoscopy—a proven diagnostic and treatment outpatient procedure—uses a flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope to examine the bowel and identify potential problems, such as:
- Inflamed tissue or ulcers
- Polyps or signs of colorectal cancer
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Pouches or tumors
- Narrowing of the colon
Your doctor may remove polyps or tissue samples for further tests or treat any problems while the colonoscopy is under way.
Learn more about colonoscopy in our online Health Library.
Who Should be Screened?
Early detection guidelines from the American Cancer Society recommend colorectal screenings beginning at age 50, with a colonoscopy recommended every 10 years.
Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors
Talk to your doctor about when and how often you need a colonoscopy. You may need to start screenings earlier and schedule them more often if you have any of these colorectal cancer risk factors:
- Family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps in a parent or sibling before age 60 or in two immediate relatives of any age
- Family history of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer
- Personal history or colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
What to Expect
A day or two before your colonoscopy, you'll need to completely clean out your colon to give the doctor a clear view of its surface.
Before Your Colonoscopy
Physicians use several different types of preparations for cleansing the colon—which is easier than you think and generally well tolerated. If you’re putting off scheduling a colonoscopy because of concerns about the cleansing process, your doctor welcomes a frank conversation and can help you decide which preparation is right for you. Your medical condition may determine if you require other specific preparations.
What to Eat
You'll want to eat light, easily digestible foods for several days ahead of your procedure and fast for eight hours—generally after midnight—the evening before your appointment.
Your doctor will explain what happens during the procedure and give you the chance to ask questions. You’ll also sign a consent form.
Preparation is one of the biggest concerns regarding colonoscopies, but fear shouldn’t stop you from scheduling your screening.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, there are a variety of preparation methods for colonoscopy ranging from liquids (of varying quantity) with or without enemas, to pills, which rid your colon of feces. A clean colon is essential to allow for a careful examination for polyps or other abnormalities. Your doctor can discuss and prescribe the most appropriate preparation method for you, taking into account various factors such as your age, personal preferences, kidney function and physical stamina.
This information obtained from http://patients.gi.org/topics/colonoscopy/
After Your Colonoscopy
Immediately following the procedure, you’ll be taken to a recovery room for observation. Once the sedation has worn off and you’re alert, your physician will discuss your outcome with you. Then, you’ll either be taken to your hospital room or discharged.
Speed Your Recovery
You may be asked to fast for a few hours or avoid high-fiber foods for the first 24 hours after the procedure. It’s normal to experience flatulence (passing gas) and gas pains after a colonoscopy. Walking or moving around can help ease any discomfort.
Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours, but be sure to drink extra fluids to make up for water lost during the preparation procedure.
Watch for These Signs
Notify your doctor if you experience:
- Fever and/or chills
- Frequent bloody stools
- Abdominal pain and/or bloating
- Inability to pass gas
Appointment Scheduling & Locations
To make it as easy as possible for you to schedule a colonoscopy appointment, some Crozer-Keystone physicians now offer "direct access" scheduling for patients who are between the ages of 50 and 75, asymptomatic and in generally good health. This means you get a colonoscopy on your first visit with no extra trips to the doctor’s office, saving you time.
There are also five convenient Crozer-Keystone locations to choose from for your colonoscopy.
Whether you meet the "direct access" criteria or not, contact us today and we will help you schedule your colonoscopy. Call 1-877-CKHS-GI1 (1-877-254-7441) or use the online Appointment Request Form to schedule an appointment today.
Medicare and most insurance plans cover colon cancer screenings, including colonoscopy, for individuals over 50.
Read your plan or check with your agent for your specific coverage information.