1. Why have a colonoscopy?
Screening Is For Everyone
Almost all of the information you will read and the commercials you will see urge everyone to be screened at 50 years of age. For African Americans screening is recommended at age 45. Perhaps, even a few years earlier if you have a history of colon cancer in your family. There are even individuals and organizations that are lobbying to lower the standard age for which screening is recommended. The fact of the matter is ,this year approximately 13,000 young men and women will be diagnosed with colon cancer. That represents almost 10% of all new cases in the United States alone. We will not try to explain all of the economic, insurance, political, medical, or personal reasons why this is the case.
Does it matter what the statistics indicate if you, your spouse, your child, or someone you love or care about is diagnosed with colon cancer?
At any age:
If you experience any stomach discomfort, bleeding in your stool, or sudden weight loss, please contact your physician today.
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Columbia, SC 29201-3452
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3. Can a colonoscopy be scheduled on the weekend?
Yes we have Saturday hours available, contact the office directly to schedule an appointment. Contact Us
4. How can colon cancer be prevented? GET THE TEST
5. How many medical professionals are involved during a colonoscopy procedure?
The number of medical professionals involved during a colonoscopy varies greatly depending on who and where you are having your procedure performed. At many centers there are only two people in the room however, we at SC Medical Endoscopy Center do not believe this is sufficient to achieve a high quality exam. For this reason our medical director, Dr. Stephen Lloyd developed a unique model with a team approach. The Lloyd Technique requires that an anesthesia team, trained nurses, techs and at least one physician be actively engaged in each patient procedure performed. Having at least four highly trained professionals in each procedure ensures that each patient receives a thorough and complete exam.
6. How much time does a colonoscopy screening procedure take?
This is a very important factor that most patients unfortunately do not even know to ask the physician before they allow them to schedule and perform their colonoscopy screening procedure. Generally speaking when more time is invested in a colonoscopy screening the odds for having a more thorough exam increase. It has been recommended that doctors performing colonoscopy should take at least 6 minutes to examine the colon as they withdraw the colonoscope. Doctors who invest 6 minutes or longer routinely find more precancerous polyps than those that invest less time.
At SC Medical Endoscopy Center we invest more than 4 times the recommended minimum with most of our procedures lasting approximately 30 minutes or longer. The extra time our team invests translates into more complete exams, more polyps discovered and removed and can deliver 10 times the protection from colorectal cancer.
7. How safe is a colonscopy screening?
Every medical procedure represents some risk. Nationally the rate of major complications is one per thousand however, at SC Medical Endoscopy Center our risk rate is less than one-fourth the average. We attribute our substantially lower risk rate to our unique approach — the Lloyd Technique. When balancing the risks versus the benefits, the 1 in 4,000 chance of a complication pales in the 2 out of 3 that we find a polyp. In one out of 15 cases we find a dangerous nearly cancerous polyp.
8. What amount of pain if any should be expected during and after a colonoscopy and how long will it take to recover?
Lets face it, no one gets excited about having a 5 foot long scope inserted where the sun doesn't shine! The reality is this fear alone prevents many people who need a colonoscopy from having this potentially life saving procedure performed. At SC Medical Endoscopy Center we utilize anesthetists, anesthesia providers who are focused on ensuring each patient remains 100% comfortable during the procedure. Additionally the use of anesthesia during procedures also greatly reduces patients recovery time with it being measured in minutes instead of hours.
9. What is the process for preparing for a colonoscopy screening?
We believe we have the easiest preparation available. Most often the preparation includes 24 hours on a clear liquid diet and two medications: Dulcolax tablets and Citrate of Magnesium liquid. There are certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, which require a different preparation, so be sure to discuss your health issues with your physician and our nursing staff.
10. Why not wait for symptoms to arise before having a colonoscopy?
Often, once symptoms are present, it is sign of a serious problem that has developed over several years. The best scenario is to catch a polyp before symptoms arise to prevent cancer.
11. Do I need a colonoscopy?
The incidence and death rates for colorectal cancer increases with age. Over 90% of colon cancer related deaths occur in individuals 50 years or older. In fact the incidence rate of colorectal cancer is 15 times higher in adults 50 and older than in in those 20 to 49 years old. The average risk population is recommended to have their first colonoscopy screening at age 50.
People should talk to their doctor about starting colorectal cancer screening earlier and/or being screened more often if they have any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors:
If you are not confident that your doctor is providing you with the correct information, or is not investigating the possibility of colon cancer immediately get a second opinion DEMAND THE PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND CARE. It’s you and your loved one’s lives at stake!
2. Are all colonoscopists equally effective at finding and removing polyps during colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a highly operator dependent procedure. Some doctors are not just better at performing colonoscopy — they are substantially better. Guidelines for measuring the quality of colonoscopy performance recommend that doctors measure their ADR (Adenoma Detection Rate). ADR is the percentage of patients in whom a colonoscopist identifies one or more precancerous polyps, or adenomas during a procedure. Minimum ADR thresholds have been determined. Doctors who perform colonoscopy should find one or more adenomas in at least 25% percent of men and at least 15% of the women they screen that are over the age of fifty. The scary reality is this, nearly half of the colonoscopists are not meeting these minimum thresholds and even worse many are not even measuring their ADR at all! If you are going to have a potentially life saving screening performed once every ten years make sure it is done right, make sure to ask the doctor to share their ADR.
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