Q: What happens if you find polyps during a colonoscopy?
A: There are different types of polyps. There are what are called hyperplastic polyps, which are not cancerous at all. All the other types of polyps are generally pre-cancerous. Those trigger an increased risk for colon cancer and an increased surveillance interval for less than 10 years depending on the size of the polyp, the histology of the polyp and how many polyps are detected during your screening.
Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: The patient needs to check in one hour prior to the examination. The procedure is scheduled for 30 minutes. Then, the patient is watched in recovery for 20 minutes for a brief monitoring period following anesthesia.
Q: What does the prep look like prior to a colonoscopy?
A: The good news is that we now have lower volume preps available. You just mix a packet with water into a small container we provide for you and drink two of those – one from about 6 – 8 p.m. the night before your procedure and the second one early in the morning. Some preps available even have flavors.
Q: When should people get a colonoscopy screening?
A: Screening colonoscopy is recommended in the U.S. for all adults ages 45-75 for both men and women. If there’s a strong family history of colon cancer, that should prompt someone to find a gastroenterologist sooner and have a colonoscopy done – because sometimes genetics are involved.
Q: With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is it okay to postpone a colonoscopy?
A: It’s so important to go get screened. We have many safety measures in place to keep patients safe, including germ-zapping robots that use UV light to disinfect environments and destroy coronavirus and other germs, screening when you enter an HonorHealth facility and requiring masks inside our facilities. We also use personal protective equipment to protect ourselves and our patients from transmission.