Your primary care physician refers you to Gastrointestinal Associates (GIA) for a colonoscopy. If it is your first exam, you may be a little apprehensive. What should you expect?
You will be given detailed instructions before your visit, and we will answer any questions you have. You may also obtain additional information from our brochure on colonoscopy and elsewhere on this Web site, but let me touch on a few highlights here.
First, you should know that Gastrointestinal Associates is one of the leading gastrointestinal practices, and its physicians and staff are among the most qualified in the field. I am very proud to be associated with our team.
GIA performs more colonoscopies than any other medical facility in the region, and this experience is a benefit to you and other patients.
Second, we are going to do everything we can to make your exam as easy and simple as possible. You will have to devote some time to preparing for the exam in terms of diet and colon cleansing, but hopefully a good result and the peace of mind it brings will be well worth your effort.
When you arrive at GIA, you will be given a beeper, such as those used at restaurants when your table is ready, to call you back to the Endoscopy Center. I don’t like to have my name called out in front of other waiting room visitors, and I am sure you don’t either.
A trained Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) will give you a safe medication intravenously. Patients sleep through the exam that is essentially pain free. You will need to have a friend or relative drive you home.
There is a possibility that your gastroenterologist may have to remove a polyp from your colon during the procedure. The polyp will be evaluated, and you will be given the results in a timely fashion. The majority of polyps are benign, but a small percentage may contain an area of cancer or develop into cancer.
So removal of the polyps is an important means of preventing and curing colon cancer, which is a leading form of cancer in the United States. Early detection is key.
Colonoscopy and polypectomy are safe and are associated with minimal risk when performed by physicians who have been specially trained and are experienced in these endoscopic procedures. Complications may occur, but treatments exist for these risks.
Your doctor’s decision to perform this procedure was based upon his or her assessment of your particular problem.
We share a common goal – your good health and preventing colon cancer – and it can be achieved through trust and understanding of the process. Please share any thoughts and concerns you have, and we promise to provide any information we can.
Also remember the prep is nothing compared to advanced colon cancer. So help stamp out colon cancer. Get prepped, get screened, think “healthy colon.”