Colonoscopy from KGH-DHC

Of all screening methods, only colonoscopy allows a doctor at Kalamazoo Gastroenterology Hepatology view your entire lower gastrointestinal tract. Colorectal cancer can be diagnosed and addressed effectively from colonoscopies, which can help you consider your options and make informed decisions at an early stage.

What is colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a procedure which enables a physician to directly image and examine the entire colon. It is effective in the diagnosis and/or evaluation of various GI disorders (e.g. colon cancer, colon polyps, diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease, bleeding, change in bowel habits, abdominal pain, obstruction and abnormal x-rays or CT scans) as well as in providing therapy (for example, control of bleeding). It is also used for screening for colon cancer. This procedure is particularly helpful for identification and removal of precancerous polyps. A colonoscope is a flexible and steerable instrument to evaluate the entire colon (large intestine). The large intestine is approximately 3 – 4 feet long. A colonoscope is engineered such that biopsies of suspicious areas can be obtained, and polyps (which may turn into cancer) can be removed.


What to expect for colonoscopy.

Colonoscope is a flexible tube that is about a half inch in diameter an about four to five feet long. Light is carried down a fiber-optic bundle in the colonoscope, and an image comes back to a television monitor.
For a colonoscopy, the patient is first given a bowel prep the night before the procedure to remove all the content of the colon. During the procedure, the patient is sedated and the colonoscope is gently passed through the rectum and the colon to the cecum, which is in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen. The entire colon lining can be viewed and any abnormality may be identified.
The physician may take a biopsy, remove a polyp, or take a photograph during the procedure through the colonoscope. Specimens obtained during the colonoscopy may be sent to the laboratory for special studies. The physician will advise the patient of the results of the procedure.

Common questions and important information regarding colonoscopies.

Everyone, once they are old enough, should consider a colonoscopy to ensure that their digestive health is being taken care of as best as possible. Trust in the professionals at Kalamazoo Gastroenterology Hepatology to take care of you if you need a colonoscopy and give you the most accurate results from the procedure.

See our procedure prep page to learn everything you need about preparing for colonoscopy.

If you have no colorectal symptoms, family history of colon cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease you should have your first exam at age 50, whether you are a man or a woman, since colon cancer affects both EQUALLY! Recent evidence suggests that African Americans should begin screening earlier, at the age of 45.
If one or more first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) has had colon cancer, the general guideline is to begin colon cancer screening 10 years younger than the youngest age of the family member with colon cancer. There are additional guidelines for suspected or confirmed rare syndromes, and you should discuss these options with your doctor at 269-385-9900.
For patients with ulcerative colitis involving the entire colon and patients with Crohn’s disease, screening for colon cancer should begin 8 – 10 years after the initial diagnosis is made.

Do not make the mistake of asking your insurance company, “Is it covered?” Use these detailed questions to get accurate answers from your insurance company, regarding what they will pay and how much will be your responsibility.
1. How much is my deductible? Your deductible is the amount you have to pay the doctor before your coverage begins.
2. How much is my coinsurance? (Example: “80/20 Coinsurance” is the amount the insurance company pays (80%) and patient pays (20%) after your deductible has been met).
3. Does my policy cover routine, screening colonoscopies?
4. Can a patient go into a screening colonoscopy but then have to pay for a diagnostic procedure? be If a lesion/growth/polyp is biopsied or removed during a screening colonoscopy, the procedure becomes diagnostics and some insurances will now have the procedure subject to a copayment and/or coinsurance and/or deductible.
5. Does my policy cover diagnostic colonoscopy?
6. What is the allowable cost for CPT codes 45378-45385?
7. Do I have to use preferred facilities for procedures, x-rays, labs and hospital admissions?
8. Explain any potential costs from the facility, pathologists, anesthesiologists or other healthcare professionals.
Special Note: Increasingly, insurance policies have up to $5,000 deductibles. If your deductible is not met before a procedure, we may ask that you set up a payment plan before scheduling. This proactive approach lets you make informed decisions and avoid surprises.