Preventable ~ Treatable ~ Beatable
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the entire length of the large intestine using an instrument called a high definition flexible endoscope.
Who/why have a colonoscopy?
Prevention/early detection. Colon cancer is one of the leading forms of cancers along with breast and lung cancer. Colon cancer could be prevented by having a screening colonoscopy. Regular screening is recommended at age 50 for both men and women.
Reasons for having a colonoscopy prior to age 50 include but are not limited to:
• Family history of colon cancer
• Family history of colon polyps
• Blood in your stool
• Rectal bleeding
• Altered bowel habits (i.e. chronic diarrhea, constipation)
• Abdominal pain or discomfort, particularly if associated with weight loss or anemia
• Colitis (Crohns or Ulcerative)
• Abnormal barium x-ray exam
• Diverticulosis and/or Diverticulitis
• Unexplained weight loss
Do I need a referral from my Primary Care Physician to have a screening colonoscopy?
In most cases a referral is not needed. Most insurance companies do not require a referral, however if you are unsure please contact your insurance provider.
What is the biggest obstacle to someone having a colonoscopy?
Fear of the procedure or findings
• After completion of the colonoscopy your physician will share his preliminary findings with you and your family member. Biopsies may have been taken during the procedure and the results will take several days to be processed.
• Most people have expressed some concern about being exposed or passing gas, sharing secrets etc. It is our commitment to make every attempt to respect your privacy. As your advocate our staff will treat you in a professional and courteous manner. Colon cancer screening saves lives. Please don’t let fear or embarrassment keep you from taking the necessary steps to ensure your good health.
Fear of discomfort
• Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible during your procedure. We primarily use two medications to sedate our patients.
• Fentanyl is given for any discomfort (cramping) you may have.
• Versed helps patients relax.
• The combination of these medications helps to make this procedure more comfortable.
Don’t want to do the bowel prep
• A good bowel prep is key to a successful colonoscopy. The goal is to clean out the entire large intestine to allow complete visualization. Over the years we have used a variety of bowel preps and feel that our current regime is the safest and most effective at this time. We try to minimize the length of time a patient can't eat solid food and still allow a good examination. We tell our patients that the short term discomfort of not eating and the process of bowel cleansing are minor compared to the importance of information gained and the potential to prevent colon cancer. Once you start eating normally again after the procedure your bowels quickly return to normal.
The Grand Junction Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Center is a State Licensed Facility that meets all the requirements to provide safe, quality health care. Our staff is specifically trained to perform and assist with endoscopic procedures in the area of Gastroenterology.
All of our physicians are Board Certified Gastroenterologists. This means that they successfully completed three additional years of training specifically to diagnose and treat disorders of the stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, gallbladder and pancreas.
We are your local experts.