A colonoscopy is the gold standard procedure for examining
and evaluating the overall health of your colon.
A lighted flexible tube is inserted through the anus to
allow visualization of the colon. The entire length of
large intestine is carefully inspected, searching for abnormalities,
obtaining biopsies and removing polyps.
The colon is approximately 3-5 feet in length (opinions
vary) with the major function being to eliminate waste
products from the body.
The Grand Junction Endoscopy Center is staffed by
Gastroenterologists who are physician specialists trained
in the study of the physiology and pathology of the
stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, gallbladder and
A Gastroenterologist is the specialist most qualified to
perform this procedure.
Reasons for the exam
There are a variety of medical reasons to have a
colonoscopy. Some include:
- Regular screening for men & women age 50 and
- Family history of colon cancer
- Personal history of colon cancer
- Polyps (tissue growth/tumor that can be a
forerunner of colon cancer)
- Colitis (Ulcerative or Crohn’s) - chronic, recurrent
- Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis—pockets along the
intestinal wall that develop over time and can
- Bleeding lesions — bleeding may occur from
different points in the colon
- Abdominal symptoms, such as pain or discomfort,
particularly if associated with weight loss or anemia
- Abnormal barium x-ray exam
- Chronic diarrhea, constipation, or a change in bowel
The endoscope is an amazing piece of equipment
that is used by your Gastroenterologist to
maneuver around the numerous bends and curves
of your intestine. The Grand Junction Endoscopy
Center uses state of the art video technology. The
endoscope has an open channel running through it
that allows other instruments such as biopsy forceps
or snares to remove polyps and/or obtain
The Bowel Prep
To obtain the full benefits of the exam, the colon must be
clean and free of stool.
- The purpose of the bowel prep is to clean out the
colon to allow clear visualization for the exam. A
bowel prep is the only way to effectively clean out
the bowel (if there was another way, we would use
- Many people delay getting a colonoscopy because
they don’t want to do the bowel prep.
- It is a short term discomfort for a long term cause.
- You will receive prep instructions in the mail once
you have scheduled your colonoscopy.
Is usually performed on an outpatient basis at our
- An RN will start an IV for sedation
- You will be taken to a procedure room where you
will speak with your physician prior to the procedure.
- The physician will give you a mild sedative to relax
you for the procedure.
- An endoscope is inserted thru the anus and moved
gently around the bends of the colon. If a polyp is
encountered, a thin wire snare is used to lasso it.
Electrocautery (electrical heat) is applied to
painlessly remove it. If indicated, biopsies can be
obtained as well.
- The procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes to perform.
- The patient is monitored in the recovery area for a
minimum of 30 minutes following the procedure.
- Following the exam
the physician will share with you the
exam results/findings. Patient’s often do not remember the
procedure due to the sedation used. For this reason it is
good to have a family member or friend accompany you so
that the physician can speak with both of you following the
- Due to the sedation, you are considered legally impaired
and must have a driver to take you home following the
- It is normal to have some gas pains following the procedure.
This usually subsides within an hour or two.
- If a biopsy was performed
you will be notified by mail or
phone within 7-10 days post procedure.
- Alternative testing to colonoscopy includes barium enema
or other types of x-ray exams that demonstrate an outline
of the colon. Stool or blood samples can provide some
information about a colon condition. These exams, however,
do not allow direct viewing of the colon, removal of
polyps, or the collection of biopsies.
Through regular screening