Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America.

A colonoscopy is an excellent means by which to detect problems before cancer develops. The American Cancer Society recommends regular screening by colonoscopy beginning at age 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer or if you are African American the recommendation is to start screening at age 45.

To examine the colon, or large intestine, a colonoscopy is performed on an outpatient basis. The colon is approximately five to six feet in length and has numerous functions. This procedure aids doctors in diagnosing cancer, polyps, colitis and other serious disorders.

Prior to the procedure, the patient will receive instructions on how to clean and empty the colon. This generally consists of a special solution, laxatives or enemas followed by a clear liquid diet until the colonoscopy is performed. The patient will receive a mild sedative to reduce discomfort.

A colonoscope is gently passed through the anus and into the colon, so the doctor may view images on a monitor. Other procedures, such as a biopsy and removing polyps, can be performed during a colonoscopy, if necessary.

Following the procedure, you may experience some slight cramping in your abdomen. This will generally subside within an hour. Colonoscopy results are immediate, while other procedures performed during the colonoscopy may take up to two weeks to obtain results.

A colonoscopy is a safe, outpatient procedure that takes approximately 15-30 minutes and could save your life. We now offer Open Access, a quick and easy way for you to schedule your colonoscopy screening.

Colonoscopy Screening by Open Access

We are pleased to introduce Colonoscopy Screening by Open Access. Using Open Access allows you to schedule your Colon Cancer Screening without a pre-procedure office visit, saving you time and money, but most importantly it saves lives.

Open Access is for healthy adults, 75 years of age or younger who have no significant gastrointestinal symptoms. To participate in the Open Access program you will be asked to answer a brief Health Assessment Questionnaire. To schedule, simply call us at (864) 678-8191 or complete our form and either mail or fax it to our office. Once we receive your information we will contact you to set up your procedure. Download our form below or pick up a copy at any of our office locations.

Schedule with Open Access

To provide your information and schedule over the phone, please call us at (864) 678-8191. Otherwise, complete the following steps:

Step 1 - Download and print Open Access form. You would need to have your insurance information available, as well as any medications you are presently taking. If there are medical concerns identified by the Health Assessment Questionnaire, you may need a preliminary appointment.

Open Access Form

Step 2 - Complete and mail form to the address below -OR- fax to our office

Open Access Program
Gastroenterology Associates, PA
200 Patewood Drive, Suite B200
Greenville, SC 29615

Fax - (864) 451-5187

Step 3 - Wait for our call

Once we receive your information, we will contact you to set up your procedure date. Please allow 5-7 business days for postmarked mail, 2-3 business days for faxed forms.

Our schedulers are available Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12 noon via phone @ (864) 678-8191 or via fax @ (864) 451-5187.

Thank you for allowing us to participate in your gastroenterology care. We look forward to serving you.

What to Expect

Preparation for the Procedure
  1. I'm dizzy or have a headache, what should I do?

    Dizziness and headache could be signs of low blood sugar or lack of caffeine. Drinking a regular caffeinated beverage (not diet) or apple juice may alleviate these symptoms.

  2. What if I start to feel nauseated or start vomiting?

    Wait 15-30 minutes before continuing prep then start back slowly. You may also take a Benadryl to help control the nausea. If vomiting continues, call the main number 864-232-7338 and report this to your doctor. If it’s after normal business hours, the answering service will take your message and contact the physician on call. It is important to get the best results possible with the prep.

  3. What is the best "clear" liquid to take?

    Gatorade, which comes in many flavors, is an excellent choice as it contains electrolytes such as potassium. Avoid RED/BLUE liquids. We also recommend beef and chicken bouillon (made from cubes not broth).

  4. Why avoid red/blue liquids?

    The color can persist in the colon and make an accurate diagnosis more difficult.

  5. Is there any way that I can make the prep taste better?

    You can try sucking on hard candy (except red or blue), but no candy four hours prior to your procedure. You can rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash. Do not eat or drink anything other than approved liquids while you are drinking the solution.

  6. I already have diarrhea before taking the prep, do I still have to take the laxative?

    Yes, you must take the prep as directed by your doctor. Your colon is approximately 6 feet long. Some polyps are very small making them more difficult to see. The entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.

  7. I am taking the prep and already have loose, watery stool; do I still need the rest of the prep?

    Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon or small intestine that needs to be eliminated.

  8. I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks, what do I do?

    If you have finished your prep and your last bowel movements were clear enough that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet you should be fine. It is ok if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is a result of the bile that normally colors the feces. This shouldn't interfere with the examination.

  9. My bottom is so sore. What can I do?

    To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth or baby wipes. Apply Vaseline, A&D Ointment, or Desitin liberally.

  10. Can I drink alcoholic beverages?

    Do not drink any alcohol the day of your procedure. This could negatively affect your sedation. Your procedure could be cancelled because of this. We strongly suggest you do not drink any alcoholic beverages the day of your prep since they can cause dehydration and some wines may thin your blood.

  11. Can I chew gum or suck candy?

    Yes, but nothing with soft centers or red color. No candy or gum is allowed 4 hours prior to your procedure.

  12. Can I have the colonoscopy done if I am having my menstrual period?

    Yes, the procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible (not absolutely necessary).

  13. Do I need a prescription for the laxatives?

    It depends on the preparation instructions you were given. Suprep is a prescription medication; Miralax does not require a prescription.

  14. Why did my doctor want me to do a spilt prep (two doses taken X hours apart)?

    We have found that by splitting the prep, our patients have a better colonoscopy--a clearer colon results in an optimal examination so that the test does not have to be repeated due to an incomplete prep. If there is residual stool or murky liquid still in the colon, it will interfere with a thorough exam of the colon.

Day of Procedure Questions
  1. What should I wear?

    Loose, comfortable clothing is recommended. You can wear make up but we advise patients not to wear jewelry.

  2. Can I drive myself home after the procedure?

    No, since sedatives are used, another driver is needed. This driver MUST stay during the procedure or the procedure will not be performed. This is for your personal safety. You may bring more than one person with you, but only one person can be with you in recovery due to space limitations.

  3. What if I am still passing stool the morning of my test?

    Take a tap water enema until you run clear. If this does not work, call the office.

  4. One of the medications I was instructed to take the morning of my procedure is red. Can I take it?

    Medication for blood pressure, heart conditions, and seizure should be taken the morning of your exam regardless of the color. Light blue and light pink medications are also fine for you to take. If you have a headache, you may take Tylenol even though it may be red.

  5. Can I brush my teeth?

    Yes, please.

  6. Can I wear my dentures?

    Yes, you may wear your dentures to the Endoscopy suite. However, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.

  7. Why do I have to be there an hour before my scheduled procedure time? What if I am running late?

    We ask patients to arrive early so that we can do a pre-procedure assessment and start the IV. Please call 864.232.7338 if you are running more than 15 minutes late, so that we can work together to adjust the schedule so that we can accommodate this delay.

After the Procedure Questions
  1. I am still dizzy and lightheaded after my procedure, why?

    You may have residual anesthesia in your system, additional rest is recommended. This will improve over the next few hours.

  2. My bottom is so sore. What can I do?

    To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth. Apply Vaseline, Preparation H, or Desitin liberally.

  3. May I go back to work after my procedure?

    No, please take it easy the rest of the day. Due to the sedatives, you may not think clearly for several hours. DO NOT DRIVE. You can return to work the day after your procedure, unless your physician specifically tells you otherwise.

  4. How do I get my results?

    We have implemented our Patient Portal to enable you to receive your lab, pathology and radiology test results at your convenience. You may also ask your questions through the portal.

    First - Get enrolled in the Portal at

    Once Enrolled in the Portal, you will log into your account at

    For New Results: You will receive an email notice that new results are ready for your review. You will log into your Portal account to get those results. You must be enrolled within 3 days after your procedure for your results to be posted to the portal. 

    To Ask Questions, Request an Appointment or Request Copies of Previous Records: You will log into your Portal account and request those services.

    **Please note: Enroll in our Patient Portal soon. Results can’t be sent automatically until you have created your portal account. If we have your email address, you will receive an email with the link to the enrollment site.

Learn more about Colonoscopies