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Definition: The examination of the inside of the body by using a lighted, flexible instrument called an endoscope. In general, an endoscope is introduced into the body through a natural opening such as the mouth or anus. Although endoscopy can include examination of other organs, the most common endoscopic procedures evaluate the esophagus, stomach and portions of the intestine (Colonoscopy).
Diagnostic Colonoscopy versus Preventative Colonoscopy
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests a person over the age of 50 (or younger for a patient with a higher risk) should receive a Colonoscopy to screen for possible colorectal cancer. The Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance plans cover a colorectal screening without patient cost sharing (i.e. co-pays, coinsurance or deductibles, etc.). Please note that any symptom such as a change in bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding or abdominal pain noted prior to the procedure and recorded as a symptom by the physician in your medical record could likely change your benefit from a screening to a diagnostic colonoscopy and cost sharing will likely occur. The physician must report any symptom or diagnosis and cannot alter medical records. Please review your insurance benefits to understand what your coverage will be if the procedure is considered a diagnostic colonoscopy rather than a screening colonoscopy.
Due to sedation, you may remember very little about the procedure(s). Sedation temporarily affects your coordination and reasoning skills so you should not drive, drink alcohol, operate machinery or sign legal documents for 24 hours after the procedure. Due to the symptoms mentioned above, the doctor will discuss the results of your examination when you return to the office for your post procedure appointment.
Minor side-effects include pain or redness at the IV site, gas or bloating, nausea, vomiting or drowsiness after the procedure. Rarely, discomfort may be felt in the abdomen, throat and/or rectum. These sensations should pass and are minor in nature. If your symptoms persist, please call our office.
The following are rare risks of these procedures but could potentially be life threatening:
If any of the above symptoms occur, please contact the office immediately.
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If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.