Why Would My Gastroenterologist Decide to Preform a Screening Colonoscopy?

At Blair Gastroenterology Associates, we want to stress the importance of getting screened for colon cancer. More than 1 in 3 adults, aged 50 and older, are not being screened as recommended for colorectal cancer. At Blair Gastroenterology Associates we want to reach and screen at least 80% of people by the year 2018. This would prevent more than 20,000 colorectal deaths per year! Please make it your New Year’s Resolution to be screened for colorectal cancer. It could save your life!

As part of this screening attempt we offer a procedure called a Screening Colonoscopy. This procedure is used for patients who may not be experiencing any symptoms and differs from a diagnostic colonoscopy procedure. This test is used when you have a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of adenomatous polyps, colorectal cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease. A screening colonoscopy allows the gastroenterologist to look inside the entire large intestine to detect inflamed tissue, abnormal growth, and ulcers. This procedure also allows the doctor to biopsy tissue if needed and to remove polyps. A screening colonoscopy is the best way to diagnose serious issues or complications.

What Can I Expect During My Screening Colonoscopy?

Your screening colonoscopy will be performed at Allegheny Regional Endoscopy. Before your procedure, you will be sedated by a licensed CRNA. The gastroenterologist will then insert a flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a colonoscope (or scope.) The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon onto a video screen so that the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. After the procedure, the physician will meet with you and discuss the findings, and you’ll receive a copy of the operative report at the time of your discharge. If any biopsies are taken during the procedure, you will be notified of the results within seven to ten days, and a copy of the report will be forwarded to your primary care physician. After your screening colonoscopy, you will receive discharge instructions from your doctor.

Preparing for your Screening Colonoscopy

Prior to having your colonoscopy, you will receive written instructions from your physician on how to adjust your medications in the days or weeks prior to the procedure. One to two days prior to the procedure, you will have to do a colon prep, which will involve cleaning out your colon. You will be on a clear liquid diet and will have to take a laxative. When you come in for the procedure, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and avoid wearing any jewelry. You must have a driver bring you to and from the procedure. Your stay for the colonoscopy will be from one and a half to three hours.