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Frequently Asked Questions about Digestive Health

Do I have to see the doctor in the office before a screening colonoscopy if I am healthy?

No, but you have to call the office and answer some questions before scheduling.

When should I have a colonoscopy done?

• Before the age of 50 if you are having problems like rectal bleeding, blood in your stool, change in bowel movements or if you have a family history of colon cancer (father, mother, brother, sister, etc.)

• Age 50: If you have no problems and no family history of colon cancer.

Repeat the colonoscopy in 1-3 years if you had polyps removed and have a family history of colon cancer.

Repeat the colonoscopy in 3-5 years if you had polyps removed and have no family history of colon cancer.

Repeat the colonoscopy in 5 years if you didn't have polyps but have a family history of colon cancer.

Repeat the colonoscopy in 10 years if you had no polyps removed.

What is a polyp?

Polyps are extra tissue that grows inside your large intestine, small intestine or stomach.

What happens if the doctor finds a polyp?

The doctor will remove the polyp and send it for further testing to a Pathologist.

Does it mean I have cancer if the doctor finds a polyp?

• The polyp can be hyperplastic which means it is not cancer or precancer. This is a benign polyp.

• The polyp can be “precancerous” which means it increases the chance of getting cancer. You will need to be screened more closely and have another colonoscopy in 3-5 years.

• The polyp can be cancer. Your doctor will discuss a treatment plan with you.

Does it hurt to have a colonoscopy done?

You will be sedated by our Anesthesiologist. You will not feel anything.

Will I be able to breathe when they do an upper endoscopy?

Yes. The scope is put down your esophagus. The esophagus is next to your breathing tube.

Why do I need to do the Prep?

Your colon needs to be completely cleaned in order to see it clearly.

Why do I need someone to drive me home after a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy?

Your test WILL BE CANCELLED if no one is available to drive you home. You will be sedated for your procedure, therefore it is not safe for you to drive.