Colonoscopy in Rochester
New! American Cancer Society Recommends Colorectal Cancer Screenings Begin at age 45. Learn more
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. If everybody age 50 or older had regular screenings, at least one-third of deaths from colon cancer could be avoided. If you are 50 or older, start screening now.
Both men and women can get colorectal cancer with the risk of getting it increasing as we age. In fact, colorectal cancer is most often found in people 50 and older.
Colonoscopy for Colon Cancer Screening
The best test currently to screen for colorectal cancer is colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is usually recommended starting at age 45 and repeated every 10 years. If someone has an increased risk for the disease or has had previous treatment for colon polyps or colorectal cancer, the test may be done more often.
If your physician notes any abnormal tissue or polyps, he/she may use the colonoscope to take a sample, or biopsy, for analysis. After the procedure is complete, you will be able to recover in the recovery room. If you received a sedating agent for the procedure, you will need a family member or friend to take you home. This is an invasive procedure and does carry some risks such as infection, bleeding or perforation of the colon.
The risk of not checking is far greater than the exam itself!
It is entirely your choice to receive sedation or not, and in fact, it is a line item on the consent form for colonoscopies. Using sedatives is the standard as many people don’t like the idea of a sedation-free colonoscopy, especially for the first time. However, many studies show that people who have had sedation-free colonoscopies actually prefer it. According to a survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal, 89% of people who received a sedation-free colonoscopy experienced little to no pain and an overwhelming amount would do it again. Pain is very minimal, and those individuals think the minor discomfort experienced during the exam (that quickly goes away) outweighs the side effects of sedatives.
There really isn’t a benefit to doing one method over the other, and it is based on patient preference. Both options are available.
How to Prepare for your Colonoscopy
If you are undergoing colonoscopy with one of our colorectal surgeons, please the information below about how to use your colonoscopy prep correctly.
Aspirin or other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) should be stopped prior to having a colonoscopy. Find out which drugs are part of the NSAIDS drug family by visiting the link about NSAIDS below.
Colonoscopy Prep Instructions and Consent
- Miralax morning exam prep
- Miralax afternoon exam prep
- MoviPrep morning exam
- Moviprep afternoon exam
- PEG morning exam prep
- PEG afternoon exam prep
- Medication guide for in-office procedures
- Consent for Colonoscopy
Bowel Surgery Preparations
These listed preparation instructions are intended for use before a procedure such as colonoscopy, colon surgery, etc., an RCRS provider will be prescribing the type and timing of each individual’s prep, do not start unless instructed. Call if you have any questions if or when you should be taking a prep prior to your visit.
What to Expect
- Preparation. An accurate colonoscopy requires a clean colon and rectum. Preparation begins the day before your scheduled procedure. You will take a physician-prescribed colon-cleansing agent and your diet will be restricted. The strong laxative helps clear out any food in the lower digestive tract.
- The colonoscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and generally takes less than 30 minutes to complete.
- Just before undergoing the colonoscopy, you will most likely receive a sedating agent to help you relax and to minimize any potential discomfort.
- During the colonoscopy exam, the physician explores the full length of the colon to detect and remove pre-cancerous polyps and identify cancerous growths. While you are lying on your side, your physician will gently insert a narrow colonscope into the rectum and slowly up through the entire colon. Using the colonscope, your physician can view the inside lining of the rectum and colon on a TV monitor.
Colonoscopy Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to have a COVID test prior to my colonoscopy?
A: YES! This mandated by the NYS Department of Health. We need to get this completed with a negative result in order to proceed with the procedure. Please follow the requisition instructions in your packet of information.
Q: Can I drink anything other than water?
A: Yes, it is important that you drink a variety of allowed clear liquids to avoid the possibility of becoming nauseated and dehydrated.
Q: What if I ate seeds, nuts, or popcorn 1-2 days before?
A: Please, no more, and inform the nurse when you arrive. You will need to drink more clear liquids (in addition to the printed instructions) to rid yourself of those.
Q: Can I have peanut butter?
A: Yes, until you are to begin the “clear liquids only” portion of the preparation, then no peanut butter.
Q: Is it okay to do clears since I am a diabetic?
A: Yes, clear liquids are ok if you are diabetic. You should have special instructions because you are diabetic. If not, call the office (22-COLON). During the prep, your oral intake is less thus your regular diabetes medications may make your glucose level too low. That’s why special instructions are needed.
Q: Is orange juice (with or without pulp) or Sunny D considered an “orange drink”?
A: No, but Tang is considered to be an orange drink.
Q: Can I have Gatorade with red “dye”/is purple Gatorade okay?
A: Red is forbidden (can look like blood, can obscure polyps); any other color, including purple, is okay.
Q: Can I mix my Miralax with anything other than Gatorade?
Q: Must I buy the whole pack of Dulcolax tablets?
A: Yes. Check the dollar store as the packages may be cheaper to purchase there.
Q: Do I have to be home when I take the Dulcolax?
A: No, but you may need to hurry to the bathroom.
Q: Will I be up all night going to the bathroom?
A: Most people can get plenty of sleep. Some people sleep all night.
Q: Can I start my prep later ie. At 5 pm after work?
A: Yes, but then you must delay the Miralax (take this 3 hours after starting the Dulcolax)
Q: What do I do if I have trouble drinking all that liquid?
A: We suggest an afternoon colonoscopy in order to split the bowel prep between 2 days.
Q: Can I take my anti-anxiety medications the morning of my colonoscopy procedure?
A: If it is a medication you are taking on a regular basis then it is okay to take at home on the day of your colonoscopy. If it is a new medication you are seeking, it is NOT okay because:
- You cannot sign a consent while on a new sedating medication
- You may have an adverse reaction to a new medication with would be problematic prior to the colonoscopy.
Q: Can I take other medications before my colonoscopy procedure?
A: Yes, Instructions are available on the medication information form that is provided to each colonoscopy patient which should be carefully reviewed.
Q: Can I have a colonoscopy if I have my period?
Q: Why can’t I take a taxi/bus to and from my colonoscopy procedure?
A: When you leave it is necessary to have someone who is responsible for safely taking you to your destination regardless of whether or not you receive sedation (anesthesia)
Q: Is it really necessary to take my nail polish off? What about acrylic nails?
A: Yes, the oxygen monitor uses your fingertip to assess some vital signs, oxygen level, etc. You do not need to remove acrylic nails.
Q: Why do I have to stay in town for 10 days after my colonoscopy procedure?
A: Very rarely a large polyp requires removal. It can take more than a week for that removal site “scab” to heal. Until it heals, there is a remote chance of life-threatening hemorrhage.
Q: Can I wear make-up/lotion?
A: No. It interferes with the monitoring equipment and process.
Q: Do I need to stop my blood pressure medication before my colonoscopy?
A: No, you need to CONTINUE your blood pressure medication. Blood pressure meds are NOT blood thinners.
Q: Will I be charged a cancellation fee?
A: Yes, here is the link to our cancellation policy https://www.rochestercolon.com/your-visit/faq-practice-policies/
Q: Will my colonoscopy be covered by insurance?
A: The vast majority of colonoscopy procedures are covered. Remember, covered is DIFFERENT than your deductible. If you haven’t met your deductible you may be obliged to pay. The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, requires a SCREENING colonoscopy to be FULLY PAID by your insurance company. We do recommend that you contact your insurance company though because every policy is different.
Q: Will I be able to drive home after my colonoscopy?
A1: NO. You may be given sedation for your procedure. Your driver must accompany you and wait for you in our office until your procedure is done and you are discharged. We ask that your driver remains in our office in the event there is an emergency or complication during your procedure.
A2: If you undergo a “Sedation Free” colonoscopy, you may be able to drive yourself home.**IMPORTANT** you still must have a responsible adult in your company for discharge.
Q: Why can’t I drive myself home after my colonoscopy procedure?
A: Due to the sedation given during the procedure, you are considered legally impaired. The sedation impairs your judgment and reflexes. You will not be permitted to drive until the following day after your procedure.
Q: I seem to be all cleaned out but I haven’t finished my prep. Do I have to finish?
A: Yes, you must follow the preparation instructions given to you. You must be completely emptied out to help ensure an accurate and thorough exam.
Q: Can I chew gum during the prep?
Q: Can I have sugar in my coffee/tea during my clear liquid diet?
A: Yes, you may use sugar or sugar substitutes in your drinks during your clear liquid diet.
Q: When can I resume usual activities?
A: In most cases, the following day but please note that on some occasions your doctor may alter your activities/diet when a large polyp has been removed, etc.
Q: Why do I have to wear socks?
A: We want you to have something on your feet if you have to run to the bathroom (especially during summertime when sandals are popular).