Articles Colon Cancer

The American Cancer Society has announced new screening guidelines and recommends everyone be screened at age 45 for colonoscopies, but what about endoscopies? This article explores both these screenings, their importance, and when you may need to have them done.

What Is A Colonoscopy?

A Colonoscopy is an endoscopic examination of the Colon. To put it in simpler terms, it's an internal examination of your Colon with a tiny camera that sends what it sees to a video monitor.

The Colonoscopy procedure requires that you take some medication to cleanse your Colon, ensuring there are no solid food particles in the Colon when the gastroenterologist performs the insertion into your rectum.

A Colonoscopy can be uncomfortable or painful often due to the repositioning that occurs during the procedure, allowing the gastroenterologist access when looking inside your rectum, pain medication can often help reduce any discomfort felt during this Colonoscopy exam, along with some types of sedation.

Once the Colonoscopy has begun, the gastroenterologist will guide the camera through the first part of your Colon checking for any polyps

There are a few types of Colonoscopies, Screening, Diagnostic and Surveillance.

What Is An Endoscopy?

An Endoscopic examination of another type of internal organ is called an endoscopic examination or procedure (EPS). That organ may be one of many, including the esophagus, stomach, duodenum (small intestine), etc... This screening helps locate organ problems or help gastroenterologists do treatments if necessary.

An endoscopist examines the targeted organ by inserting a tiny camera or through natural body openings (such as your mouth). An Endoscopic examination can be uncomfortable/painful because the movement of organs is necessary for access. Pain medication is provided to help with any pain or discomfort.

When Should You Get Colonoscopies And Endoscopies

Colonoscopies are most often used to screen for Colon Cancer, Colon Polyps, and Colon Inflammation (Colitis). Colonoscopies can also be used in the following circumstances:

  • After a Colon Surgery (yes, even Colon Surgeries could cause Colon problems)
  • When you have rectal bleeding or trouble with bowel movements.
  • When you have abdominal pain.

An Endoscopic examination is most commonly performed when someone has symptoms such as persistent heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, or to help locate cancer and other abnormalities in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.

Main Difference Between Types Of Screening

The main difference between Colonoscopies and Endoscopies is that Colonoscopies use bigger and less flexible cameras to explore the concerning areas, whereas Endoscopes are much smaller.

Can You Get Colonoscopies & Endoscopies On The Same Day

It depends; always consult your gastroenterologist about whether having them both done is right for you. Because even though it might feel like you're knocking out two birds with one stone, your health and what your body can handle is what is most important.

Does Insurance Cover Colonoscopies & Endoscopy Procedures

Most insurance plans cover Colonoscopy tests when someone has symptoms that could be colon-related. Colonoscopies are usually covered when recommended by a gastroenterologist. Endoscopic examinations require you to have specific symptoms or check for colon/rectal-related issues during the procedure.

Contact your insurance today and see what they offer; many companies offer free screenings as part of your preventative healthcare.

GI Associates Can Help With Either Screening

GI Associates provides both types of screening and can guide you to the best time to set up an appointment. Contact us today if you'd like to see a physician or have more questions. We treat all gastrointestinal issues and disorders with quality, comprehensive care.

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