Diagnosing Without Surgery

Your doctor has advised you to have a colonoscopy. This is a non-surgical procedure that can help your doctor diagnose your digestive problem. This routine exam allows your doctor to see directly inside your lower digestive tract (colon and rectum). Based on the results of your colonoscopy, your doctor can determine the best course of action for treating or managing the cause of your problem.

Through the Colonoscope

Your doctor checks the lining of your colon by using the colonoscope. This instrument is a thin, flexible tube that is moved through your colon. The tube has several openings through which instruments can be passed. Threadlike fibers of glass within the tube beam light inside your colon. A computer chip at the tip of the colonoscope picks up the image of your colon and sends it to a TV screen. This allows your doctor to view an enlarged picture of your colon.

Viewing Your Problem

Your colon and rectum normally have a smooth lining. If you doctor see polyps or other growths during your colonoscopy, they can often be removed then. Your doctor may take a biopsy (tissue sample), of a growth to study the tissue further. Colonoscopy helps your doctor to diagnose other abnormalities, such as bleeding or an area of inflammation, and to prescribe the best treatment for them.

During Colonoscopy

You are sedated for the procedure. During your procedure, the lubricated colonoscope tube is inserted slowly and gently into the rectum. Because your doctor needs a clear view, air is used to expand your colon. As a result, you may feel some pressure and cramping. Depending on what the colonoscopy reveals, your doctor may take a biopsy. If a polyp is found, it will be removed at that time. When the exam is over, usually within an hour, you will be taken to a recovery area.

After Colonoscopy

While recovering, you'll be monitored for about 30-45 minutes until you're ready to go home. Within a few hours after you return home, you'll be able to eat normally and resume some of your normal activities, unless otherwise directed. It's normal to experience some gas pains after a colonoscopy. Try taking a walk to help relieve the bloated feeling. Call your doctor if you have abdominal pain, high fever or bleeding.

Your Results

Your doctor will tell you the results of your colonoscopy either before you leave for home, or within a few days after the procedure. If your problem was treated during the exam, your doctor may give you special instructions to follow. If a biopsy was performed, allow several days for the results. If necessary, further studies or treatments may be recommended.

Insurance Benefits

Please call your insurance company to check benefits. There can be different benefits for a screening (no symtoms or medical diagnosis) and a colonoscopy where there is a medical diagnosis (such as diverticulitis or polyp). It is very important to know what your benefits will be as this is a very costly test. Our office will call the insurance company to see if preauthorization is required.

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