Colonoscopies: The Who, What, Where & When

By Buffalo Medical Group | October 17 2017 | Doctor Tips

Getting a colonoscopy can be intimidating for many patients, but it’s not as bad as many would think. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) recommends screening for the average risk patient beginning at age 50. However, there are circumstances where screening begins earlier depending on you or your family’s medical history, which your primary care doctor can help you determine.

Who is at Risk for Colorectal Cancer?

  • Age 50+: Most patients diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer are older than 50; however, new studies show that colon and rectal cancer rates are rising in patients younger than 50
  • Family history of colon or rectal cancer, especially parents and siblings
  • Personal history of Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • History of colorectal polyps
  • Personal history of breast, uterine, ovarian or renal cancer

I Hear the Day Before a Colonoscopy is Worse Than the Actual Procedure?

It is true that, for the colonoscopy to be done properly, you must undergo a bowel prep the day before the procedure. Fortunately, we have newer preps available that are milder and require less fluid consumption then the older ones.

We try to schedule most colonoscopies so that you are done by the early afternoon, this decreases the length of your prep and allows you to get back to your regular diet sooner. When you arrive at your appointment, nurses specially trained for GI procedures will help you get changed and start an IV for the medications we use. Once you are ready, you will be brought into one of the suites designed specifically for colonoscopies. There, your doctor and nurses will give you medications through your IV to put you in a twilight-type sleep. Once you are comfortably resting, the colonoscopy is performed. It generally takes between 15-30 minutes to complete.

After your scope is finished, you will be brought back to the recovery unit where you will wake up and have some light snacks. Once you are awake, you are free to go and enjoy a well-deserved lunch! An important note is that you will need someone available to drive you home as you will not be able to drive or operate heavy machinery for the rest of the day.

Where and When Can I Get My Colonoscopy?

The team at BMG performs colonoscopies Monday through Friday and on some Saturdays at various locations throughout Western New York. Some of the locations we have available to perform your colonoscopy include: Buffalo Surgery Center (located on the Excelsior Campus), Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Center for Ambulatory Surgery (located in West Seneca), Buffalo General Medical Center, and Sisters of Charity Hospital, just to name a few.

Visit our Colon & Rectal page to learn about our team of surgeons, and schedule your colonoscopy today.