Colonoscopy is an examination in which the doctor uses a flexible instrument containing a small camera to transmit of the image of the colon onto a large screen. Colonoscopy can detect ulcers, inflamed tissue, and abnormal growths called polyps. The procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, anemia, or weight loss. If doctors find polyps during the procedure, colonoscopy can be used to remove them.
Current guidelines advise anyone over the age 50 to have an initial screening colonoscopy and then repeat the procedure every 5-10 years depending on the findings and family history. African Americans should have an initial screening for colon cancer at age 45. For those with family members who have a history of colon polyps or colon cancer, is may be advisd to begin screening much earlier. Your doctor can tell you if early colorectal cancer screening is right for you.
The procedure itself takes less than an hour. You should plan to be at our facility for approximately 2-3 hours depending on how much sedation is needed and how you feel afterwards.
A polyp is a growth on the lining of the colon. Some polyps are precancerous but most are not. All colon cancers start off as polyps, so if we can free you of polyps, you will not get colon cancer. Consequently, all polyps are removed?
You will be sedated unless you request otherwise.
The location for your procedure is determined taking into consideration your health criteria. Most procedures take place in the Augusta Endoscopy Center, adjacent to the Belair Road office. Some procedures will take place at Doctors or University Hospitals. Our office will provide information as to the location of your procedure.
The instructions on the colonoscopy preparation are different that the instruction sheet given to me at the doctor’s office. Which should I follow?
Follow the doctor’s instruction sheet provided by the practice. It provides the most complete instructions for an effective bowel prep.
Coffee is considered a clear liquid as long as you do not add milk or creamer. While beer and any non-red alcoholic beverage is considered clear, because they are alcoholic beverages they are not to be consumed on the day prior or day of your bowel prep.
Unfortunately, some people do experience nausea. As the prep stimulates the gut to move waste more frequently, the stomach is also be stimulated, sometimes resulting in nausea. If you experience nausea, take a break from drinking the prep and try again in half an hour. Some find that sucking on candy can help. Others find that using a straw allows the drink to get to the back of the throat, bypassing tastebuds and triggering of gag reflexes. Yes, the prep is not pleasant, but is certainly better than colon cancer.
All people respond differently to the prep. Some start having bowel movements before finishing the entire prep while others may need to complete the prep before seeing results. Once it starts you will have frequent bowel movements and each time it should get clearer until you see only yellow-ish fluid with little or no particulate matter; it should look like urine.
You must follow the preparation instructions given to you and finish all the bowel prep. Your colon must be completely emptied to help ensure an accurate and thorough exam.
Yes. You must follow the bowel prep instructions to ensure that your entire colon is clean to allow the doctor to clearly evaluate your colon.
It depends. Please see the page entitled Medicine Before Procedure for complete instructions, or call our office.
Yes if you have a cold. No if you have a fever.
No. Your driver must stay at the facility while you have your procedure.
Generally, you can eat immediately after your procedure, although avoiding greasy or spicy foods is advisable. Some patients experience mild nausea as a result of the sedative medications. Don’t be concerned if you do not have an appetite until the following day.
Due to the sedation given during the procedure, you should plan to rest at home for the remainder of the day. You may resume your usual activities the day after your procedure.
Office & Portal Questions
Many of our patients do receive a referral from their physician but you may call and schedule an appointment for yourself as well. If you are enrolled in an HMO plan, please contact your insurance carrier to determine whether a referral is required prior to seeing a specialist.
The doctor-patient relationship is confidential and privileged. For this reason information from your medical records will not be released to anyone without your written consent. For information how you can obtain your medical records, call our office at 706-868-0104.
We only see adult patients, ages 18 and older.
We do accept Medicare patients.
We accept many insurance plans, but would be glad to verify if we take your insurance. Call us at 706-854-8934
Our patient portal is the most efficient and secure means to reach your provider. When you send a question through the portal, the system tracts the request and prompts our team to act to get your question answered. The portal allows us to make sure your whole care team knows how your request was answered and keeps us on all the same page. An added benefit of the portal is that it allows you to send a question whenever it’s on your mind, without waiting for our office to open.
Still, if you prefer to reach us by phone please know that calls can best be handled during office hours with your chart in front of us. Many questions are those that we get frequently, and can be answered by our nurse of our office staff. If they are unable to answer your questions, they will speak with one of our doctors and return your call. In consideration of the importance of the doctor-patient relationship our doctors will not interrupt their involvement with patients in the office to receive telephone calls.
Like when you receive a return call from your doctor’s office, it depends on the health priority of your request and the volume of other requests being handled. Many questions and requests are answered quickly, however you will always receive a response within 3 business days. The patient portal should not be used for emergencies.
When there is a message for you in the portal, you will receive an email at the email address associated with your Portal Account letting you know to check the portal for your message. The email you receive will not contain any private health information, only that you have a message waiting from Gastroenterology Consultants.
- Log-in to the patient portal from our website.
- Select the MY Profile icon in the left menu panel.
- Click theEdit link beneath the My Profile / Contact Information heading at the top of the page.
- Update your information as required.
- Click theSubmit
On the sign-in page, click Forgot your password and enter your email address to request a password reset email.
Please call our business office at 706-854-8934
Our business office can provide that information to you.
How will I know if my insurance company will cover my visit and/or services and whether a referral or pre-certification or prior authorization is required?
Should you have any questions regarding your plan’s coverage, you should contact your insurance provider prior to your appointment.
Your Co-payment is due at time of service.
Insurance companies require us to submit claims for each service separately. There will be three to four claims submitted to your insurance provider: physician, the facility, anesthesia and pathology, if required. Many insurance companies require separate claims for the nurse anesthetist overseeing your procedure as well as the supervising anesthesiologist. Our business office will be happy to explain should you have any questions.