“Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States for men and women combined.”
A colonoscopy can detect problems before cancer develops.
The American Cancer Society now recommends colon cancer screenings beginning at age 45. Regular colon cancer screenings should continue through the age of 75. If you have a family history or increased risk for colorectal cancer you may need to start screenings before age 45.
It is important to get screened prior to developing symptoms.
A screening colonoscopy can detect polyps which can be removed and prevent symptoms from occurring.
A colonoscopy is a safe, outpatient procedure that examines the colon, or large intestine.
The procedure itself takes approximately 15-30 minutes. 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.
You 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. You will receive a mild sedative to reduce discomfort.
A colonoscope is gently passed through the anus and into the colon, allowing the doctor to view images on a monitor. Other procedures, such as a biopsy and removing polyps, can be performed during a colonoscopy, if necessary. Providers can potentially find precancerous polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer.
You may experience slight cramping in your abdomen. This will generally subside within an hour. Your colonoscopy results are immediate; however, allow up to two weeks for biopsy and pathology results.
We have answers for you.
Get Detailed Instructions
Our Open Access Program now makes it easy and convenient to schedule your Colon Cancer Screening.
Healthy individuals without significant gastrointestinal symptoms can eliminate a pre-procedure office visit which will save time and money. An open access staff member will review your medical questionnaire to determine if you qualify for the program.
Know and understand your insurance
Screening colonoscopies are considered preventative services. However, be sure to contact your insurance company to verify coverage. Some insurers continue to cover costs of preventative screenings at age 50. There are strict guidelines set forth by insurance companies determining what is screening vs. diagnostic.
Some insurers continue to cover costs of screenings at age 50 while others only cover before age 50. There are strict guidelines surrounding what is determined a screening colonoscopy. Always check with your insurance regarding your specific benefits.
Before the Procedure
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.
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.
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).
The color can persist in the colon and make an accurate diagnosis more difficult.
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.
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.
Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon or small intestine that needs to be eliminated.
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.
To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth or baby wipes. Apply Vaseline, A&D Ointment, or Desitin liberally.
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.
Yes, but nothing with soft centers or red color. No candy or gum is allowed 4 hours prior to your procedure.
Yes, the procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible (not absolutely necessary).
It depends on the preparation instructions you were given. Suprep is a prescription medication; Miralax does not require a prescription.
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.
During the Procedure
Loose, comfortable clothing is recommended. You can wear make up but we advise patients not to wear jewelry.
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.
Take a tap water enema until you run clear. If this does not work, call the office.
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.
Yes, you may wear your dentures to the Endoscopy suite. However, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.
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
You may have residual anesthesia in your system, additional rest is recommended. This will improve over the next few hours.
To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth. Apply Vaseline, Preparation H, or Desitin liberally.
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.
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 GastroAssociates.com. Once Enrolled in the Portal, you will log into your account at nextmd.com. 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.
Even though insurance typically covers screening colonoscopies, you may be responsible for paying for your bowel prep kit and other services such as pathology. To get costs and avoid unexpected expenses, call your insurance provider and ask:
Talk With Someone
On Our 24-Hour Hotline
Get Detailed Instructions
Specific to Your Appointment
Allow 5-7 business days for postmarked mail, 5 business days for faxed or emailed forms.
PIN required for enrollment. Contact our office for email invite.