A colonoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your rectum and colon. The procedure involves using a long, thin, flexible scope -- a colonoscope -- which contains a camera and lighting that allows your physician to see tissue abnormalities.
The colonoscope can also be used to take tissue biopsies and remove tumors or polyps identified during the visual examination. Typically the procedure is done under moderate sedation or twilight anesthesia where you are fairly sleepy, but not wholly under deep anesthesia.
Colonoscopies are used to determine the cause of gastrointestinal problems and to screen for colon cancer.
A baseline colonoscopy is advisable when you reach the age of 50, but if you have a higher risk for colon cancer or develop concerning symptoms such as blood in your stools, constipation, or abdominal pain, your doctor may recommend getting a colonoscopy at an earlier age.
Your risk may be high if you meet any of the following criteria:
Two procedures are commonly used to examine your upper digestive system, which includes your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the upper part of your small intestine):
An EGD, or upper endoscopy, is performed using an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube containing a camera and light. During the procedure, your doctor examines tissues lining your upper digestive tract looking for signs of cancer, inflammation, or ulcers.
If abnormal tissues are present, specialized tools can be passed through the endoscope to take a biopsy, remove a mass or polyp, or stop bleeding. Similar to a colonoscopy, the procedure is typically done under moderate sedation and can happen at the same time as a colonoscopy.
Upper GI series
During an upper gastrointestinal (GI) series, a type of X-ray -- fluoroscopy -- and barium liquid are used to examine your upper GI tract. After you drink barium, it creates a contrast that makes internal structures more visible.
Fluoroscopy passes a continuous X-ray through the targeted area, producing images of your upper GI tract in motion. An upper GI series can be used to screen for cancer as well as ulcers, hernias, blockages, and other problems.
A portacath is a specialized IV catheter often used for the administration of chemotherapy, although it can be used for other purposes.
The port -- a small, round reservoir covered by a plastic membrane -- is surgically implanted just under your skin, usually on the upper part of the chest. The port is attached to an IV catheter that runs under your skin into a large vein.
A specialized needle punctures the plastic membrane to deliver chemotherapy medication or withdraw blood. Since the membrane is self-sealing, it can be punctured many times, and the port can safely stay in place for years.
The procedure to place a portacath is typically performed in an operating room with X-ray guidance to ensure the catheter is placed in the correct position.
Please contact both your Plan and the physician’s office for participation as this may vary at any time.