Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your physician to examine the lining of the colon (large bowel or large intestine) for abnormalities. A flexible tube that is about the thickness of your finger is inserted into the rectum and advanced along the length of the colon.

What preparation is required?

The colon must be completely clean for the procedure to be accurate and complete. Your physician will give you detailed instructions regarding the dietary restrictions to be followed and the cleansing routine to be used. In general, preparation may consist of drinking a large volume of a special cleansing solution, a clear liquid diet, laxatives and/or enemas prior to the examination. Follow your physician’s instructions carefully. If you do not, the procedure may have to be canceled and repeated later.

What about my current medications?

Most medications may be continued as usual, but some medications may interfere with the preparation or the examination. Therefore it is best to inform your physician of your current medications including over-the-counter pain relievers, vitamins, and herbal supplements. It is also important to inform your physician of any medication or latex allergies. Also, you should notify your physician if you are taking any blood thinners such as Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Aggrenox, Ticlid, or Persantine. Insulin and iron products are examples of medications whose use should be discussed with your physician prior to the examination.

What can be expected during a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is usually well tolerated. However, there is a feeling of pressure, bloating or cramping during the procedure. Your physician will give you medication through a vein to help you relax and better tolerate any discomfort from the procedure. You will be lying on your left side or on your back while the colonoscope is advanced slowly along the length of the large intestine. As the colonoscope is slowly withdrawn, the lining is again carefully examined. The procedure usually takes 15 to 60 minutes. In some cases, passage of the colonoscope to its junction with the small intestine cannot be achieved. The physician will decide if the limited examination is sufficient or if other examinations are necessary.

What if the colonoscopy shows something abnormal?

If your physician thinks an area of the bowel needs to be evaluated in greater detail, a forceps instrument is passed through the colonoscope to obtain a biopsy, a sample of the colon lining. This specimen is then submitted to the pathology laboratory for analysis. If colonoscopy is being performed to identify sites of bleeding, the areas of bleeding may be controlled through the colonoscope by injecting certain medications or by coagulation (sealing off bleeding vessels with heat treatment). If polyps are found, they are generally removed. None of these additional procedures typically produce pain. Remember, the biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily mean that cancer is suspected.

What are polyps and why are they removed?

Polyps are abnormal growths from the lining of the colon which vary in size from a tiny dot to several inches. The majority of polyps are benign (non-cancerous) but the physician cannot always tell a benign from a pre-cancerous or non-cancerous polyp by its outer appearance alone. For this reason, removed polyps are sent for tissue analysis. Removal of polyps is an important means of preventing colorectal cancer.

How are polyps removed?

Tiny polyps may be totally destroyed by fulguration, burning with electrical current, but larger polyps are removed by a technique called snare polypectomy. The physician passes a wire loop or snare through the colonoscope and severs the attachment of the polyp from the intestinal wall by means of an electrical current. You should feel no pain during the polypectomy. There is a small risk that removing a polyp will cause bleeding or result in a perforation of the wall of the colon, either of which could require surgery.

What happens after a colonoscopy?

After colonoscopy your physician will explain the results to you. If you are sedated, you will need to arrange to have someone accompany you to the facility, be available at the facility and drive you home after the procedure. Because sedatives affect your judgment and reflexes, you will not be allowed to drive or operate heavy equipment for the remainder of the day.

You may have some cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. This should disappear quickly with passage of flatus (gas). Generally, you should be able to eat after your procedure, but your physician may restrict your diet and activity, especially after polypectomy.

What are the possible complications of a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy and polypectomy are generally safe when performed by physicians who have been specially trained and are experienced in these endoscopic procedures.

One possible complication is a perforation or tear through the bowel wall that could require surgery. Bleeding may occur from the site of biopsy or polypectomy. Bleeding is usually minor and stops on its own or can be controlled through the colonoscope. Rarely blood transfusions or surgery may be required. Other potential risks include a reaction to the sedatives used and complications from heart or lung disease. Localized irritation of the vein where medications were injected may cause a tender lump lasting for several weeks, but this will go away eventually. Applying hot packs or hot moist towels may help relieve discomfort.

Although complications after colonoscopy are uncommon, it is important for you to recognize early signs of any possible complication. Contact the physician who performed your colonoscopy immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms: severe abdominal pain, fever or chills, or rectal bleeding of more than 1/2 cup. Onset of bleeding can occur up to 2 weeks after removal of polyps.

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The young man who registered me was excellent. I waited about 45 minutes and could not help but overhear how calmly and professionally he handled multiple complaints by walk-in patients. The complaints were not related to appointments but getting a response to inquiries about other issues. He just took it all in stride and seemed to calm the patient. Dr. Jones also patiently listened to my personal issues with communications with the practice. I appreciate his time and consideration.

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I would like to write a raving review for Sal! Over the years she has been EXTERMLY professional, her dedication to your patients goes above and beyond. She has been truly a pleasure to work with and we will miss her referring to use here at Michigan Medicine. I have often referred to her process and professionalism with many other outside referring offices. She will be missed! You I wish you nothing but the best Sal!!! Suzanne

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Staff at reception/checkout were professional & helpful. Medical Assistant was friendly & thorough. Dr. Ahmad was at his best as is the case with every visit. He is thorough, honest, empathetic, and always an excellent communicator/educator.

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Great experience all-around! Very friendly staff and knowledgeable providers (both physician assistants and doctors) I see lots of people on here who are frustrated with phones and IT-related issues but as this is out of the employee’s hands I base my review off of the things that WERE in their control. They were kind, efficient and understanding.

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From my very first encounter at the front desk, to the discharge nurse after surgery, my experience was a good one. The staff all listened to my questions and concerns, and Dr. Julian is top-notch.

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Our Doctors

We’re proud of our team here at Digestive Health Institute. Our health care providers include some of the very best colorectal surgeons, gastroenterologists and physician assistants. To learn more about our qualified team of specialists, please visit our providers page.

Radoslav Coleski, MD, PhD

Dorian Jones, MD

Lucas Julien, MD

Razvan Opreanu, MD

Scott Plaehn, DO, FACOI

Robert Rose, DO, FACOI

Albert Ross, MD

John Walling, Jr., DO, FACOI

Siaka Yusuf, MD

Our Locations

FAQs

What happens during my first visit?
If you are a new patient, you can expect to have a complete physical exam. You will also be asked detailed questions about your current problems and your past medical history, your current medications, allergies, your family history and other pertinent medical information. If you are taking medications, please bring a completed medical history form with you to your appointment. Once the physician has reviewed your medical information and completed the physical examination, a plan of care will be developed. You may need to be seen again in the office, be referred back to your family physician for follow-up care, or require additional testing. If additional tests are needed, we will assist you in scheduling these tests.
What if I need to schedule an endoscopic procedure?
An endoscopic procedure allows the physician to visualize a part of your gastrointestinal tract with a special instrument called an endoscope. If your family physician has ordered testing, you will be contacted by telephone by one of our staff members. If an Digestive Health Institute physician orders testing and you are in the office, the procedure can generally be scheduled during the course of your visit. You will be given a date, time, and location for the test, as well as written instructions telling you how to prepare for the test. If you have any questions about the procedure, please feel free to ask one of our staff members or the physician.
How do I get test results?
We ask that you wait 10 to 14 days before contacting us for results. Often results come from several different sources. This information needs to be compiled and reviewed by your physician before you can be appropriately advised. You may call 517-332-1200 and press “8″ and your call will be directed to the triage nurse.
What insurances do you accept?
Digestive Health Institute accepts payment from most insurance companies including Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Blue Care Network, Physicians Health Plan, Cofinity, Sparrow Professional Health Network, Medicaid, McLaren, Health Plus, and several others. Accepted insurances are subject to change at any time without notice.

If your insurance requires an authorization from your primary care physician, you may be asked to assist us in obtaining this authorization.

All patients are responsible for all copays and deductibles at the time of service.

If you have any questions regarding your benefits or insurance coverage, please contact our Billing Department at 517-332-1200 #6.

What if I need to contact the doctor?
To contact your doctor during business hours please call our main number 517-332-1200. If you have an urgent need to speak with the doctor after hours please call our answering service at 517-483-9124 and the doctor on call will be paged. In the case of a medical emergency please proceed directly to the nearest hospital emergency room.

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