A colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the colon to look for abnormalities, including cancer. The scope used by the doctor contains a light and a tiny camera at the end, and enables small tools to be passed through a channel to take tissue samples, remove polyps and perform therapeutic procedures.
Colonoscopies can be classified as either diagnostic or screening.
- Diagnostic colonoscopies are used to evaluate and treat gastrointestinal symptoms and disease.
- Screening colonoscopies are used in patients without symptoms to evaluate for colon cancer and are the most common form of colorectal cancer screening in the United States. These screenings allow us to find and to remove polyps or adenomas—small, typically benign growths. The size, type, and frequency of these polyps are indicators for a patient’s risk for cancer. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends colonoscopy screenings at age 45 for people of average risk. People with a family history of polyps or colon cancer need to undergo colon cancer screening earlier than age 45, and this should be discussed with your physician.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Since colon cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer when it’s found early, we at Gastroenterology Consultants of Augusta are passionate about doing our part to eliminate colon cancer.
While the test for both diagnostic and screening colonoscopies is the same, is important to recognize that they are ordered for different reasons. Consequently insurance companies reimburse differently or each procedure. For more information, see our insurance information page.
Colonoscopy is essentially painless and is performed with the use of short acting sedation, which allows you to sleep through the test. Colonoscopies may be performed without sedation upon request. We perform this procedure daily in our private and quiet endoscopy center.
Patients should not eat or drink prior to a colonoscopy, and will need to take carefully follow preparation steps to empty the bowel for the procedure.
You will receive a bowel prep prescription and prep instructions via our patient portal prior to your procedure. If you do not receive these within seven days of your procedure, please call our office right away!
Colonoscopy is an important, sometimes livesaving procedure. To schedule a Colonoscopy, or to find out more, please contact our office at (706) 868-0104 for more information.
The content on our website is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.