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Colonoscopy Information

You do not need to be referred by your family doctor for a colonoscopy unless it is required by your insurance company. If you are 50 years of age or older or if you need a follow up colonoscopy then follow the steps below.

1. Call our office. 812-477-9241 or 800-371-1169 and press option # 3. We will ask you a few questions. Your exam will not be scheduled within the first phone call. You must first fill out the necessary paperwork. (see step #2)

2. We will mail you our patient paperwork, or you can download the paperwork and print it.

3. Fill out the paperwork and mail to our office along with a copy of your insurance cards and your drivers license. After we receive your forms, we will call you within a week to schedule your appointment. In most cases you can be scheduled for a colonoscopy without coming to the office first. If you are having symptoms or would like to meet the doctor prior to your exam, we can schedule an office visit for you.

Risks & Benefits of Colonoscopy

Screening Guidelines - Who should have a colonoscopy?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Colonoscopy? Colonoscopy is a safe, effective method of examining the full lining of the colon and rectum. For this test, the doctor looks at the entire length of the colon and rectum with a colonoscope a long, flexible, tubular instrument. The colonoscope has a video camera on the end that is connected to a display monitor so the doctor can see and closely examine the inside of the colon. Special instruments can be passed through the colonoscope to remove any suspicious looking areas such as polyps, if needed.

This examination allows a qualified physician to carefully examine the lining of your colon for cancer screening, surveillance and evaluation of symptoms. It is also used for clarification of any abnormalities, removal of polyps or a follow-up examination of a previously diagnosed problem.

Before the test: The colon and rectum must be empty and clean so your doctor can view the inner lining during the exam. You will need to take a laxative preparation the day before the test to clean out your entire colon. Upon scheduling your exam, we will give you preparation options and you be able choose which one you use. With all of the preparations, it will be necessary to be at home when taking the laxatives as they will cause diarrhea within a short period of time in order to clean out your colon.

During the test: The test itself usually takes about 30 minutes, although it may take longer if a polyp is found and removed. You will be at the facility about 3 hours total for registration, pre procedure, the exam and recovery. You will not be able to work or drive for at least 8 hours following the exam. Someone needs to be at the facility with you and then drive you home.

Before the colonoscopy begins, you will be given a sedating medicine through an IV in your hand. The medication will make you feel comfortable and sleepy during the procedure. You may be partially awake, but you may not be aware of what is going on and may not remember the procedure afterward. Most people will be fully awake by the time they get home from the test.

During the procedure, you will be placed on your side with your knees flexed and a drape will cover you. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate will be monitored during and after the test.

If a small polyp is found, the doctor may remove it. Some small polyps can eventually become cancerous. For this reason, they are usually removed. If your doctor sees a large polyp or tumor or anything else abnormal, a biopsy may be done. The polyp or biopsy tissue can then be sent to a lab to be checked under a microscope to determine if it is a cancer, benign (non-cancerous) growth, or a result of inflammation. After the exam, the doctor will let you know if any follow-up care is required.

Preparing for a Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy Information Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What medications can be taken or not taken prior to a colonoscopy?
A. Some medications can increase the risk of bleeding after colonoscopy.  Coumadin, Aspirin, Ibuprofen (and most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), Vitamin E, and Plavix can lead to bleeding.  Make sure our scheduler or Physician is notified if you take any of these medications.  You will probably be asked to stop taking them for several days before the colonoscopy can be done.  People with diabetes may have to alter their usual insulin or pill doses.  Heart medications and lung inhalers should generally be taken as usual.
Q. How long will my Colonoscopy take?
A. The exam itself will take about 45 minutes.  You will be at the hospital or surgery center about 3 hours total.  This time includes check-in, pre-procedure, the exam and recovery time.  Someone needs to be with you at the facility while you are there and also drive you home afterwards.
Q. Will my Colonoscopy be done in the office?
A. Depending on your insurance plan and available dates, your exam will be done at St. Mary's, St. Mary's Surgicare Outpatient Center, Deaconess Hospital, or Deaconess Gateway Hospital. During a colonoscopy your blood pressure and other vitals will be monitored and you will be given medication to make you comfortable.  The hospitals and surgery centers are well staffed and have the appropriate equipment for this type of exam.
Q. Can I drive myself home after my colonoscopy?
A. NO,  You will not be able to work or drive for at least 8 hours after your colonoscopy.  You will be given medication to make you comfortable during the exam.  The medication will make you drowsy and forgetful for several hours.  Make sure you have a friend or family member that can be with you at the facility and then drive you home after the exam.
Q. My family doctor wants me to have a colonoscopy.  Do I need an office visit at OVCRS before the exam can be scheduled?
A. If you are not having any medical problems, and the exam is recommended because of your age or family history, then no, you do not need an office visit first.  We can mail you the necessary paperwork, after you send it back, one of our schedulers will call you to set up the appointment for your colonoscopy.  Of course if you prefer to come meet the doctor first, we will gladly make you an office appointment.
Q. Do I need to drink all of the preparation for the colonoscopy?
A. Yes.  The reason you need to drink the preparation before a colonoscopy is to clean all of the stool or feces out of your colon.  That must be done so that the doctor is able to see the inside of your colon during the exam.  If you stop drinking the preparation too soon, and the doctor cannot see the lining of your colon, you may need to repeat the exam at a later date.