1. What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an medical procedure in which a thin, flexible tube is inserted into a patient’s rectum and threaded through the large intestine. This colonoscope is equipped with a tiny video camera that allows the doctor to examine the colon and rectum from the inside, and search for abnormalities. Depending on the health of the colon, the doctor may also remove growths for cancer screening.
2. Does a colonoscopy hurt?
While a patient may experience anxiety in the time before an exam, the actual colonoscopy should not hurt at all. Depending on your physician, you may be sedated during the procedure – you may wish to consult with your doctor about your options. Otherwise, if you prepare correctly before the exam, there shouldn’t be any problems.
3. What are the reasons to get a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the most thorough procedure for colon and colorectal cancer screening. If your family has a history of colon cancer, or if you have experienced bowel problems or rectal bleeding, you should schedule an exam.
On average, a person should schedule a first colonscopy around the age of 50. However, if there is a family history of colon or colorectal cancer, you may wish have your exam earlier. Call us today at 757-412-4919 for a consultation.
4. How is a Colonoscopy Exam Done?
During an exam, a colonoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera attached – is gently moved into your large intestine. Your gastroenterologist will monitor the scope’s progress through your colon, searching for ulcers, polyps, tumors, or other anomalies. Most doctors perform a colonoscopy to screen for precancerous growths in the colon or rectum, and in some cases may collect samples and remove small growths.
5. How often should I get a colonoscopy?
Assuming you receive a clean bill of health, it is recommended to get a colonoscopy every five years. Survivors of colon cancer should schedule an exam every 3-5 years.
6. How long does the exam take?
Exam times will vary. An exam with no obvious anomalies could take only fifteen minutes, while others may last an hour if the doctor needs to perform tests.
7. How much does an exam cost?
The cost of an exam not covered by insurance will vary according to the physician and location. As of 2009, the average cost of a colonoscopy totals around $3000.
8. Will my insurance cover the cost of cancer screening tests?
Our clinic accepts most coverage plans, please call 757-412-4919. Your insurance provider may cover the bulk of the exam, but you may be required to pay the difference on things not covered by your plan.
9. Are there risks to getting a colonoscopy?
Generally a colonoscopy is a low-risk procedure, though there is the possibility a patient may experience a reaction to any sedatives or additional bleeding. Preparing well for the exam can prevent any adverse effects.
10. How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
One to two days before your exam, you will be required to completely cleanse your colon so the doctor will be able to inspect it clearly. Your physician will prescribe a special liquid for you to drink, which will eliminate fecal matter from your intestine. You will stay off solid foods, drinking only water or clear fruit juices until the exam to stay hydrated. If you’re unsure of the prep instructions before your exam, call us at 757-412-4919. For more detailed information, click here.
11. Where will the screening tests be done?
A colonoscopy with Dr. Berger is an outpatient procedure, so you don’t have to plan a hospital visit. Your exam will be performed in the comfort of our Virginia Beach clinic. Before your test, we will provide instructions on preparation to ensure accurate test results. The actual exam may take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour, depending on what is found.