Texas Health Care, PLLC   Privia Medical Group

What is colonoscopy?
• It is an examination of the lining of the colon and rectum.

Why is it done?
• Most colorectal cancers start in benign polyps.
• Most polyps do not cause any symptoms at all.
• Colonoscopy is the most accurate test for detecting polyps, and the
easiest way to remove them (surgery can be avoided).
• By removing the polyps,
most colorectal cancer can be prevented.

Who should have it done?
• All people, aged 50 and older, male or female.
• It is a myth that the only people who get colorectal cancer are those with
a family history.  In fact, 70% of all colorectal cancer victims have no family
history of colorectal cancer.        
The entire colon is examined as the scope
is gently advanced around the colon.
How is it done?
• A laxative drink is taken the evening before the test to cleanse the colon
for proper visualization.  Various liquid solutions are available.  We will find
the best preparation for you, depending on your preferences and medical
• On the day of the test, you will be given sedation intravenously, to induce
a “twilight sleep”; most patients do not feel any discomfort during the test.
• A thin, flexible, lubricated tube (the scope) is gently inserted into the
rectum and advanced slowly inside the colon.
• If any polyps are seen, the majority of them can be removed easily during
the examination (see the diagram to the left).

How long does it take?
• You will report 1 hour before the procedure time.
• The procedure itself lasts 30 to 45 minutes.  You will be monitored for
about 30 minutes after the test.
• It is important to have a friend or a relative take you home.

Will insurance cover the cost?
• Medicare recipients are covered for colonoscopy every 10 years (or
every 5 years if personal/family history).
• For other insurance carriers, contact your benefits representative; many
plans are now covering screening colonoscopy, partially or fully.
Polyp removed...Cancer prevented.

Artwork is reproduced, with permission, from the Johns Hopkins
Gastroenterology and Hepatology Resource Center,
www.hopkins-gi.org, copyright 2006, Johns Hopkins University, all
rights reserved.