Colonoscopy is considered the most effective method of screening for colorectal cancer. Beginning at age 50, all men and women should be screened for colorectal cancer, even if they are experiencing no problems or symptoms, and have a full colonoscopy every ten years.
To accommodate healthy patients who need a screening colonoscopy, the Digestive Disorders Institute has established a direct access program to expedite and simplify the process of scheduling colonoscopies. The Direct Access Screening Colonoscopy Program allows select patients in stable health to arrange for a colonoscopy without first having a face-to-face consultation with a gastrointestinal specialist.
The advantages of this streamlined process are simple — saved time and saved costs — factors that might encourage individuals to make an appointment for their screening.
To participate in the Direct Access Screening Colonoscopy Program, speak with your primary care physician who will determine if you meet the criteria. If you are eligible, your primary care physician will then send the information needed to initiate your screening to the program coordinator who will contact you directly to discuss your medical history and go over the details of the procedure, including medication, dietary, and preparation issues.
An appointment for your procedure will then be scheduled for a date and time suitable for you. Please note that you will receive sedation for your colonoscopy. The procedure itself typically takes less than 30 minutes. After receiving sedation, you will not be allowed to drive, work, or operate machinery for 12 hours. Aside from that, you may resume your normal activities.