Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’S

How long will my Colonoscopy / Endoscopy take?

Colonoscopy and upper endoscopy take on an average of 30 minutes or longer. It may take longer depending on the findings during the procedure. You should reserve 3-4 hours of your time for preoperative evaluation and for post-op recovery before you are discharged from the facility.

Is Barrett’s Esophagus curable?

Barrett’s Esophagus can be eliminated with the new ablation technology of the HALO system. In a recent clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a large percentage of patients with Barrett’s esophagus were able to achieve a cure with the HALO ablation system. For more information regarding HALO ablation click here.

Are There Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Hemmorhoids

Yes, there are multiple non-surgical options available to treat internal hemorrhoids.

HEMORRHOIDAL BANDING

During hemorrhoidal banding, your physician will place a small rubber band around the tissue just above hemorrhoids where there are few pain-sensitive nerve endings. The banding procedure works by cutting off the blood supply to hemorrhoids, thereby causing hemorrhoids to shrink and fall off. Most patients will require 2-3 sessions of treatment to achieve optimal results. Patients are often sedated for the procedure, but this is not mandatory. After the procedure, you may feel a sensation of fullness or a dull ache in the rectum. This can typically be relieved by an over the counter pain medication and usually subsides completely in 6-12 hours. Many patients are pain-free after the procedure.

There is minimal preparation required prior to hemorrhoidal Banding. Your colon must be clean in order for your physician to get the best view possible. The preparation includes up to 24 hours of following a diet consisting of “clear” liquids and may require an enema prior to the procedure. It is very important that your physician’s instructions be followed carefully. The quality of the preparation can affect the physician’s ability to diagnose any problems.

INFRARED COAGULATION

Infrared photocoagulation is a medical procedure used to treat small and medium-sized hemorrhoids. During the procedure, your physician will use a device to apply an intense beam of infrared light to treat your internal hemorrhoids. The heat created by the infrared light causes scar tissue which cuts off the blood supply to hemorrhoids. Most patients will require 2-3 sessions of treatment to achieve optimal results. Patients are often sedated for the procedure so that they do not feel pain or discomfort. However, sedation is not mandatory.

There is minimal preparation required prior to Infrared Coagulation. Fasting may be required for 6 hours prior to your appointment and you may require an enema prior to the procedure. It is very important that your physician’s instructions be followed carefully. The quality of the preparation can affect the physician’s ability to successfully complete the procedure.

ULTROID HEMORRHOID TREATMENT

The Ultroid® hemorrhoid treatment system is a new advancement that allows for quick, easy, painless, and effective treatment of hemorrhoids. All it takes is 10 minutes during an office visit, and you can be free of problematic hemorrhoids. There’s no surgery and no preparatory procedures. Just a sense of relief knowing that you can resume your normal routine.

HET HEMORRHOID TREATMENT SYSTEM

The HET System is a new non-surgical device for the treatment of internal hemorrhoids. It is based on well-established scientific principles, gentle, simple, and well-tolerated. The technology is cleared for use by FDA and European authorities. The hemorrhoids are treated with a unique ligation technology, resulting in their shrinkage and subsequent resolution of the disturbing symptoms. It is a gentle, simple technique and easy to use in the ambulatory setting. The procedure using the HET System is usually very well-tolerated and patients experience either no pain or brief, mild discomfort. Typically, patients may return to work and normal activities right after the procedure.

As with all procedures, it is important to advise the surgeon of all medication, vitamins, and dietary supplements you are taking. Some dosages may need to be adjusted or avoided completely for a few days prior to the procedure. All allergies must be discussed with the physician or nurse as well. If you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, heart, or lung disease that may require special attention during the procedure, discuss this with your doctor. When you arrive at the endoscopy center, one of our patient service coordinators will register you for your procedure. Your demographics and insurance information will be reviewed. The various consents which require your signature will be reviewed. You will be asked to change into a gown. A nurse or physician will review your medical history and current medication use. Updating this information will ensure that we take the best care of you that we can. Please be prepared to review your health history at this time. Bring a list of medications and drug allergies, if necessary.

Is Colonoscopy Pain Free

DMC Endoscopy Center is now offering pain-free colonoscopy assurance. With this assurance, patients can be assured that when they get their colonoscopy at DMC Endoscopy Center their experience will be comfortable and pain-free. We use the latest medications, equipment, and supplies to provide state-of-the-art sedation to our patients during their endoscopic procedures. Our team of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) with special training in endoscopic sedation and experience at top hospitals in the United States provide sedation during endoscopic procedures. As a result, our colonoscopies and other endoscopic procedures are comfortable and pain-free. In fact, almost 100% of our patients report their upper endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures as “painless”. We use a state-of-the-art endoscopy system and pediatric colonoscopes with variable stiffness technology to minimize discomfort during colonoscopy. Our Physicians are specially trained in the latest endoscopic skills to perform “comfortable” colonoscopies. Our Physicians, CRNA, and nurses are certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

I have Family History of Colon Cancer – When should I get my Colonoscopy?

Having a family history of colon cancer increases your risk of colon cancer. If you have a family history of colon cancer you should consult with your doctor to determine if you should get a colonoscopy.

How Should I Take My Colon Prep and Get Ready for my Colonoscopy


ONE DAY PRIOR

DIET INSTRUCTIONS

Eat a CLEAR LIQUID DIET ALL DAY. You may ONLY have: ♦ Clear broth – chicken, beef or vegetable (no noodles) ♦ Plain Jell-O (no red or purple) ♦ Tea or coffee (no milk or cream) ♦ Clear pop such as Sprite, 7-UP, and ginger ale ♦ Clear juices such as white grape, apple, lemonade ♦ Sports Drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light (no red or purple) ♦ Popsicles, Italian Ice (no red or purple and no added fruit pieces) ♦ NO SOLID FOOD ♦ DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE EXCEPT THE COLON PREP. THIS INCLUDES NO WATER.

PREP INSTRUCTIONS

♦ Prepare the colon prep as instructed on the container ♦ AT 3:30 PM, take FOUR (4) Dulcolax pills. ♦ AT 4 PM, start drinking the prep every 10-15 minutes until half of it is gone. ♦ Drink the other half of the prep 6 hours before your scheduled time.

OTHER TIPS 

♦ Drinking through a straw may help avoid contact of the salty fluid with your taste buds. ♦ Rinse your mouth with water, clear soda, or mouthwash after drinking. ♦ If you feel nauseated, slow down to 8 oz every 30 min for 2-3 cups, sip peppermint tea, or suck on a lemon. ♦ If you experience abdominal fullness and/or bloating, slow down to 8 oz every 30 min until these symptoms subside. (This is normal and will subside when bowel movements start). ♦ If your pharmacy did not supply you with a flavor packet, you may substitute powdered Gatorade or Crystal Light. Follow the instructions on the Gatorade or Crystal Light Container for reconstituting the prep. No red or purple.

PREP FAQs

DIABETIC PATIENTS ♦ No insulin or oral diabetes medications the day of your procedure. ♦ Insulin pump patients – follow the off-pump plan given by your prescribing physician on the day of your procedure

PATIENTS ON BLOOD THINNERS ♦ If you take Coumadin (warfarin), please obtain clarification from your prescribing physician to stop taking the medication 5 days prior to your procedure. ♦ If you take Plavix, please obtain clarification from your prescribing physician to stop taking the medication 7 days prior to your procedure.If you take any other blood thinner, please obtain clarification from your prescribing physician to stop taking the medication prior to your procedure.

Is there any way to make the prep taste any better? Try sucking on hard candy. Add the flavor packs that come with the gallon prep or you can add Crystal Light or Gatorade packets to the glass. Don’t eat or drink anything other than the approved liquids while you are drinking your prep. Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after drinking the prep.

I feel like vomiting and do not think I can drink any more. What should I do? It is important that you continue to drink the solution if possible. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to thoroughly see inside of your colon to complete the examination. You can stop drinking for 30 minutes, then resume. If you do vomit, wait 30-60 minutes then begin drinking the solution again.

One of the medications I was instructed to take is red. Can I take it? Medication for blood pressure, heart, seizure, anxiety, depression, or pain can be taken the morning of your procedure regardless of the color. Only take with a sip of water and make sure you tell the staff what medications you have taken.

I already have diarrhea before taking the prep. Do I still have to take the colon prep/laxative? Yes, you must take the prep as directed. Your colon is approximately 6 feet long; the entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.

I am taking the prep and already have loose watery stools; do I still need to take the rest of the prep? Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.

I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks; what do I do? If your last bowel movement was clear enough to see the bottom of the toilet; you should be fine. It is OK if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is bile that normally colors the feces. This should not interfere with the procedure.

My bottom is very sore. What should I do? Avoid rubbing when cleaning the area. Gently pat with a wet washcloth or wet wipes. Apply Vaseline, Preparation H, or Desitin liberally.

Can I drink alcoholic beverages? We strongly suggest that you do not drink alcoholic beverages the day prior to your procedure since they can cause dehydration and some wines may thin your blood.

Can I chew gum or suck candy? Yes but nothing with soft centers or red or purple. No sucking on candy or gum after midnight the night before your procedure. This causes excess saliva production which may become a problem when you are anesthetized.

Can I brush my teeth? Yes. Do not swallow any water.

Can I wear my dentures? Yes, you may wear dentures to the Endoscopy Center. However, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.

If you have been instructed not to take anti-inflammatory or blood thinner medicine several days before the procedure. What can you take for headaches and pain relief? You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) as directed.

I have a headache and/or feel dizzy. Dizziness and headache could be signs of low blood pressure or dehydration. Drinking a regular carbonated beverage (not diet), Gatorade, or apple juice may alleviate these symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids!

Can I have the colonoscopy done if I am having my menstrual period? Yes, the procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible (not absolutely necessary).

What should I do if I believe that I am pregnant? It is very important for us to be aware of this possibility. If there is any doubt, please contact us immediately.

May I drive home? Any patient receiving sedation should not drive until the next day. A patient receiving sedation for a procedure needs a ride home with a responsible adult. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk, or take public transportation after sedation or anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.

What must I bring with me on the day of the procedure? ♦ Bring insurance identification cards, driver’s license ♦ Bring your completed medication list, including over-the-counter, herbals and vitamins and a list of any medications to which you are allergic ♦ Make sure you have a ride home and someone to care for you at home ♦ Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing ♦ Bring case for eyeglasses or contacts ♦ Leave all jewelry and valuables at home

Should I be checked for Colon Cancer?

If you are more than 50 years of age or if you have had polyps before then you should be screened for colon cancer and polyps. If you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps then you may need to get screened at an earlier age. Similarly, some high-risk patients such as those with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease also need to be screened at a younger age. You may also need to be checked for colon cancer if you have any concerning symptoms such as rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, weight loss, abdominal pain, etc. Please consult with your doctor to determine if you are a candidate for colon cancer and polyp screening.

Is Colonoscopy covered by my insurance company?

Colonoscopy for colon cancer screening is covered by almost all major insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid. It is also usually covered if you have a history of polyps, colon cancer, or any condition that increases your risk for colon cancer. It is also usually covered if you have a family history of colon cancer. Many insurance companies usually cover screening colonoscopy without requiring patients to apply their co-pays or deductibles towards the test. Our office staff will assist you in determining your coverage at the time of your clinic visit. You are also encouraged to call your insurance company to determine coverage.

How do I refill my prescription?

If you need a refill on your prescription, please contact your pharmacy and have them send a refill request to our office. Our providers will review and refill for you. Please give us a few days to process the refill request.

What do I do if my insurance will not pay or approve medication that I was prescribed?

If your insurance will not pay or approve medication that was prescribed for you, please contact your pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to fax our office a list of your insurance’s preferred medications. Our staff will forward to your provider and your provider will change your medication if possible.
Please Note: There may be some medications that your insurance may not pay for or approve that your provider recommends you to take.

What medications can I take the morning of my procedure?

On the morning of your procedure, you can take medications for blood pressure, heart, seizure, anxiety, depression, or pain regardless of the color of the medication. Only take with a sip of water and make sure you tell the staff what medications you have taken that morning. DO NOT take your diabetes medications on the morning of the procedure until your procedure is completed and you start to eat. Hold any blood-thinning medications such as Plavix, Pradaxa, Coumadin, etc. as was advised during your clinic visit with your Doctor.