A colonoscopy is a procedure your doctor will perform to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine). The doctor will insert a flexible tube into the rectum and through the colon, looking for abnormalities. Prior to the procedure, you will be given a sedative and pain medication through an IV. Following the procedure, you will be groggy for a few hours and therefore, should not schedule anything else for the remainder of the day. You are NOT allowed to drive for the remainder of the day. It is recommended to have a person over the age of 18 stay with you for 6-8 hours after the procedure.
Please note, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company about coverage and cost for your upcoming colonoscopy procedure. Sometimes colonoscopies result in a cost to the patient. Be sure to state to the insurance company when you last colonoscopy was and if you have a personal history or family history of colon cancer or polyps.
Colonoscopy: The Gold Standard
A colonoscopy is the only test that can detect and prevent colorectal cancer by finding and removing polyps immediately during the procedure. A single colonoscopy can therefore be both a screening test - that finds undiagnosed symptoms, as well as a diagnostic procedure - that finds the cause of symptoms.
If you choose a screening test - not a colonoscopy, and the result is positive (abnormal), you will then need an additional follow up colonoscopy to remove the polyps. You may then be charged for this additional procedure as it is now identified as a diagnostic colonoscopy.
Colonoscopies also have an extremely high detection rate which contributes to a higher survival rate among early colorectal cancer diagnosis. This is why a colonoscopy is still considered the gold standard for detecting and preventing colorectal cancer.
Click here for more information on why colonoscopies are the gold standard.