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Colonoscopy procedure in Maryland, US

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What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your gastroenterologist to look at your large bowel (colon). Millions of people get colonoscopies every year as colonoscopy is a safe, effective, and well-tolerated test. The test is performed using a colonoscope, which is a tube with a camera and a light on its end, that the doctor inserts to the end of your colon. The images are transmitted from the scope to a monitor so the doctor can see the entire colon. The scope also has a channel that the doctor can use to insert instruments and perform therapeutic interventions such as taking biopsies or removing polyps.


What is a Colonoscopy Used For?

A colonoscopy is the best test used to screen for colon cancer. It allows us not only to find colon cancer but also colon polyps. Polyps are small growths in the colon that can turn into cancer but they usually take years to become cancer. Colonoscopy allows us to remove the precancerous colon polyps during the same procedure and prevent them from turning into cancer.

Colonoscopy is also used to evaluate and treat several other conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases, hemorrhoids, and other diseases of the colon.


Preparing for your colonoscopy:

You will receive specific instructions when you are scheduled for the colonoscopy procedure explaining the bowel preparation process. This usually requires that you stay on a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure. You will need to drink a bowel preparation to cleanse the colon. There are several preparations that can be used but they all require that you drink a laxative solution the evening before the procedure and usually a second dose the morning of the procedure. While you can work the day before the procedure, you will need to stay home in the evening to drink the colonoscopy prep as you will develop significant diarrhea. It is very important to follow the exact instructions and drink the entire bowel prep as having a good quality bowel preparation is key to ensuring you have a safe, comfortable, and effective procedure. If the bowel preparation quality is poor, polyps may be missed and your procedure may have to be canceled.

Before the procedure, you will be evaluated by the anesthesia team and the nursing staff. You will be asked to put a gown on. Intravenous access will be placed and your vital signs checked. Your colonoscopy doctor will talk to you about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure and you will be asked to sign an informed consent form to give the doctor permission to perform the procedure.


The Colonoscopy procedure:

The colonoscopy is performed in a private room with only your gastroenterologist, the anesthesiologist, and the nurse and tech assisting in the procedure present in the room. Sedation will be administered through the IV line and you will be asleep and comfortable. The colonoscope is inserted through the rectum into the colon and advanced to the end of the colon. Your doctor will then slowly withdraw the scope while carefully examining the colon. If a polyp is found it can be removed during the procedure.


Recovery After the Colonoscopy Procedure:

A colonoscopy usually takes less than 30 minutes. When the procedure is over, the sedation will be stopped and you will wake up and be taken to the recovery room. While some patients experience gas or bloating after the procedure, most patients wake up not even realizing that the procedure was already performed. After the sedation completely wears off, your doctor will talk to you about the procedure and discuss with you the findings and the recommendations.

You will need someone to take you home after the colonoscopy procedure as after receiving sedation you are not allowed to drive, go to work, or leave the endoscopy unit by yourself. The next day you will be back to your normal routine.


Frequently Asked Questions:


Who performs the colonoscopy procedure?

Your colonoscopy will be performed by one of our board-certified gastroenterologists. Our colonoscopy doctors are recognized as top doctors in Maryland and the Washington DC metropolitan area. 


Is the colonoscopy painful?

No. You will receive sedation before the procedure is started. You will be asleep, but you will continue breathing on your own. When the colonoscopy is finished, the anesthesia medication will be stopped and then you wake up in a few minutes. You will not feel the procedure and in many cases, patients don’t even realize the procedure was done. 


Do you perform colonoscopies in Rockville, Maryland?

Yes. We perform colonoscopies and endoscopies at Maryland Surgery Center in Rockville, Maryland. 


Do you perform colonoscopies in Frederick, Maryland?

Yes. We perform colonoscopies and endoscopies at the GI Wellness Center of Frederick in Frederick, Maryland. 


Who needs a colonoscopy?

Anybody over the age of 45 or people with certain symptoms such as rectal bleeding. There are other conditions that require a colonoscopy which you should discuss with your healthcare provider.


How often do I need a colonoscopy?

If your first screening colonoscopy does not reveal any polyps and the colon was cleaned well, your next colonoscopy will be in 10 years.


How do I prepare for my colonoscopy?

We offer both liquid and tablet prescription medications that are safe to clean the bowel the night before and the morning of your colonoscopy. Your colonoscopy doctor will go over your bowel preparation instructions. 


Do you perform a colonoscopy near me?

For your convenience, we perform endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures in Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland, as well as in Frederick, Maryland. 


What si the colonoscopy cost?

A colonoscopy is a test that is covered by your medical insurance. A screening colonoscopy should be covered by your insurance plan at 100%. If you do not have insurance, the average colonoscopy price is around $1,000 to $1,200. This includes the surgery center fee and the anesthesia fee. 


Can I take my medications on the day of my colonoscopy?

Your doctor will go over your medications and let you know if anything needs to be stopped or held before your procedure.


Can I resume my activities after the colonoscopy?

You will not be able to drive, operate heavy machinery, or make important life decisions, on the day of your colonoscopy. The next day, you will be back to normal.

Will I go home after my colonoscopy?

Yes, you will be able to go home usually within 30 minutes to an hour after finishing your colonoscopy. 


Can you remove a polyp in colonoscopy?

If a colon polyp is found during your colonoscopy, the doctor will be able to remove that polyp during the same procedure. 


Where can I find a colonoscopy doctor near me?

At Digestive Care Specialists, we are available to serve patients in our community and we see many patients from Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. We offer convenient locations in Montgomery County and Frederick County, Maryland. We also offer televisits so you only need to come to us in person for your procedure.