A colonoscopy procedure is not familiar to many people. People often ask, “What does a colonoscopy with biopsy feel like, and how much does it cost?”
And some questions are awkward to ask. Some of your questions about colonoscopy are answered here, starting with:
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that screens the patient for colorectal cancer. A gastroenterologist uses a colonoscopy, a long, flexible, tubular instrument about 1/2-inch in diameter. It transmits an image of the colon lining that allows the doctor to see any abnormalities. The doctor inserts the flexible colonoscope through the rectum and continues through the large intestine. The procedure takes 30 to 60 minutes, and the patient is under anesthesia so that he does not feel a thing.
Why is a colonoscopy necessary?
Two words: colon cancer. Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon). Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, abnormal groups of cells called polyps. The growths are flat or raised and can take various irregular shapes.
Colon polyps occur in approximately 25% of the population. Most polyps are noncancerous; Almost all colon cancers begin as polyps. Removing noncancerous polyps is a critical way to prevent cancer later.
Over time, these polyps can develop into colon cancers. Treatment for colon cancer depends on the stages. Doctors remove benign polyps. Treatments for later stages include anything from surgery to chemotherapy and radiation.
CASH PAYMENT OPTIONS
In addition to working with most health insurance plans, we offer cash payment options designed to help patients find precisely the care they need at a price they can afford.
When should I talk to my doctor about a colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society has researched many aspects of colon cancer. Any of the symptoms below should prompt a visit to the doctor. This way, you can find the cause, which is most often not cancer, and discuss treatment if needed:
- Diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, lasting more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that doing so does not relieve
- Rectal bleeding
- Dark stools or blood in the stool
- Cramps or abdominal (belly) pain
- weakness and fatigue
- unintentional weight loss
Can stress cause rectal bleeding?
Stress itself cannot cause rectal bleeding. Many things lead to rectal bleeding. Stress can cause or worsen some of them. It is essential to see your doctor identify the cause of your bleeding.
The most common cause of bleeding is hemorrhoids, but see a doctor be sure.
Can I inherit colon cancer?
Nonpolyposis, colorectal cancer, and familial adenomatous polyposis are two types of cancer that are considered hereditary. These cancer groups represent less than 5% of all colorectal cancers.
What are other risk factors?
There are lifestyle choices that can cause an increased risk of colon cancer, according to the American Cancer Society:
- Being overweight
- physical inactivity
- Specific diets (high in red and processed meat)
- heavy alcohol use
Here are some factors you can’t control
- be older
- Personal or family history of colorectal polyps
- A personal account of inflammatory bowel disease
- Family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
How can I prevent colon cancer?
The best preventions for colon cancer are a healthy lifestyle and regular exams.
Most cases of the disease affect people over 45 years of age. We encourage people at average risk to have their first colonoscopy around age 45. People with a family history of colon cancer or an individual polyps account should be screened sooner.
What is a colonoscopy like?
It’s like taking a nap. Patients feel nothing under anesthesia.
I’ve heard that preparing for a colonoscopy is horrible. How can I cope?
Colonoscopy preparation is more accessible and “acceptable” than five or ten years ago. Most patients tolerate it very well.
Be sure to follow directions in preparation, including drinking plenty of fluids. Plan to be close to home or bathroom. Use soft wipes to maintain cleanliness and avoid irritation after bowel movements. Patients can use Desitin ointment to protect the skin.
You will be on a clear liquid diet, which means you should only drink clear liquids the night before your procedure. This includes clear sodas and all flavors of Gatorade except red or purple food coloring.
Should I worry about a colonoscopy?
It’s normal to fear any procedure, but a colonoscopy is a common exam performed under expert supervision. We focus on ensuring safety and comfort throughout the process.
How much does a colonoscopy cost?
NTTC offers a flat cash price of $1,610 for colonoscopy with biopsy for patients who do not have or do not want to use insurance. This price includes the facility fee, surgeon fee, and anesthesia.
If you plan to have insurance pay for the cost of your colonoscopy, familiarize yourself with the details of your coverage. For example, you need to know your annual deductible and how much you’ve met so far. NTTC staff are available to guide you through the process