FAQs

I just turned 50 and my doctor says I need a colonoscopy, but I feel fine. Should I have it?
Yes, current standard recommendations by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Cancer Institure (NCI) indicate that the most proper screening method is colonoscopy at the age of 50.

 

My doctor says I should have a colonoscopy to look for colon cancer. No one in my family has had colon cancer, so why should I worry about it?
Because most of the cancers are silent as they grow from polyps.

 

I have heard that colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer. Does insurance cover these tests?
Your insurance should cover screening test as diagnostic services, however some plans do not cover preventive services or have a deductible you have to meet as you contracted with the insurance company. You will need to contact your insurance regarding this matter.

 

What is virtual colonoscopy? Is it easier than a conventional colonoscopy?
CT colonography is a high speed high resolution CT scan that will not detect accurately polyps less than 1 cm, it also requires a bowel prep. So even though, it is diagnostic it is not therapeutic as the colonoscopy. It can be used for completion of difficult colonoscopies.

 

I understand that a colonoscopy could find an early colon cancer. Wouldn't I need surgery and a colostomy if they found colon cancer?
A properly trained pelvic surgeon should be able to perform sphincter sparing surgery without the need of a permanent colostomy, however there are times in which a very low lying lesion over the anorectal area may preclude this.

 

What is constipation? What can be done about it?
Constipation varies from patient to patient, hard stool, difficulty emptying and bloating feeling. The normal stool frequency is 3 stools a week. A balance diet in fruits and vegetables as well as water intake should help this problem. Otherwise endoscopic evaluation is warranted to rule out other causes of change in the bowel habits.

 

I was told I have an anal fissure. It is very painful. Is there anything that can be done?
Fiber supplementation and certain medication may improve the symptoms most of the time. Recurrence of the pain and bleeding or persistence after appropriate treatment medically may warrant surgery. There are several options that include a lateral internal sphincterotomy.

 

My doctor says I should eat more fiber. Do I need to use fiber powders?
In most of the cases, the standard American diet does not provide sufficient fiber. Some patients will greatly improve using over the counter fiber supplementation.

 

Is it safe to assume that rectal bleeding is hemorrhoids?
Never assume rectal bleeding is hemorrhoids until properly evaluated by a proctologist.