Here is a List of Questions You Should Be Asking Before Getting a Colonoscopy


screening colonoscopyColorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, which makes colonoscopies a vital screening test in the detection and prevention of cancer. Colorectal cancer typically begins in a growth called a polyp. Some polyps are benign while others may be cancerous and thus a danger to your health. During a screening colonoscopy, your doctor will be able to take a closer look at your colon – commonly called the large intestine – and remove any polyps they find. You should request a colonoscopy if:

  • You’re 50 years of age or older
  • Your family has a history of polyps
  • Your family has a history of colon cancer  You or a member of your family has had uterine or ovarian cancer before they are 50
  • You have had polyps before

But before scheduling a colonoscopy, there are a number of questions you should be asking to get the highest quality treatment possible at the lowest risk to you:

  • How/why is effective bowel preparation important?
  • How can I maximize bowel preparation to ensure an easier colonoscopy procedure?
  • Will I be sedated during the colonoscopy?
  • Should I stop taking any medications before the procedure?
  • Are there/what are the risks of complications?
  • Will I need to schedule another colonoscopy? If so, when?
  • Is the doctor performing the procedure following the proper guidelines?
  • Is there a chance the doctor might miss any polyps?

These are but a handful of questions to consider and ask your physician before making an appointment for a screening colonoscopy. For more information, visit our colonoscopy questions & answers page.

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