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How do I schedule a colonoscopy?
To schedule your colonoscopy, please call the location where you would like to have your procedure performed:

MINNEAPOLIS: (651) 225-7855
Colon and Rectal Surgery Associates, Ltd.
2800 Chicago Ave South, Suite 300 • Minneapolis, MN • 55407
Colonoscopies performed at:  Minnesota Endoscopy Center • Abbott Northwestern Hospital

NORTHWEST: (651) 312-1717
Colon and Rectal Surgery Associates, Ltd.
11850 Blackfoot Street NW, Suite 270 • Coon Rapids, MN • 55433
Colonoscopies performed at: Mercy Hospital • West Health Campus

SOUTHWEST: (651)-312-1700
Colon and Rectal Surgery Associates, Ltd.
Fairview Southdale Physicians Bldg.• 6565 France Ave S, Suite 375 • Edina, MN 55435. Colonoscopies performed at: Fairview Southdale Hospital • Fairview Ridges Hospital

ST. PAUL: (651) 312-1620
Colon and Rectal Surgery Associates, Ltd.
St. Paul Business Center East • 1983 Sloan Place, Suite 11 • St. Paul, MN • 55117
Colonoscopies performed at: East Metro Endoscopy Center • Eagan Endoscopy Center • United Hospital

Who should have a colonoscopy?
The doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to:

  • Screen the colon at age 50 or earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer.
  • Examine and possibly remove polyps or tumors located by a barium enema exam.
  • Monitor patients with a past history of colon polyps or cancer, or with a strong family history of colon cancer.
  • Examine patients who test positive for blood in the stool.
  • Check inflammatory bowel disease (colitis).
  • Check unexplained abdominal symptoms or change in bowel habits.
  • Identify cause of unexplained bleeding.

What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to visually examine the entire lining of the colon and rectum using a colonoscope (a long flexible tube about the thickness of a finger). The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and gradually advanced through the colon. The doctor is able to carefully examine the lining of the rectum and diagnose colon and rectal problems, perform biopsies, and remove polyps.

How is a colonoscopy performed?
A colonoscopy is done in an outpatient setting. Patients take an oral preparation to cleanse the bowel the day before the procedure. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and gradually advanced through the colon. The doctor may inject medicine to relax the patient and help ease any discomfort. Colonoscopies are done under sedation, not anesthesia. The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour. The patient usually may resume normal activities the following day.

When is a biopsy done?
If the doctor sees an area in the bowel that needs further evaluation, a biopsy forceps can be passed through the colonoscope to take a sample of tissue (biopsy). This sample will be sent to the hospital lab. Biopsies are taken for many reasons, and do not necessarily mean that cancer is suspected.

What is a polypectomy?
Polypectomy is the removal of a polyp. During the course of the examination, a polyp may be found. Polyps are abnormal growths of tissue which vary in size from a tiny dot to several inches. If the doctor feels that removal of the polyp is indicated, a wire loop, or snare, will be passed through the colonoscope and the polyp removed from the intestinal wall using an electrical current. If additional polyps are detected, they may be removed as well. Polyp removal is not painful.

What are the risks of a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy and polypectomy are associated with very low risk when performed by doctors with special training and experience doing these endoscopic procedures.  One possible complication is perforation, which is a tear through the wall of the bowel that may allow leakage of intestinal fluids. Perforation will usually necessitate hospitalization and often surgery. Another complication is bleeding that may occur from the site of biopsy or polyp removal. It is usually minor and stops on its own. Rarely, hospitalization and surgery are necessary. A third complication is localized irritation of the vein in your hand that may occur at the site of medication injection. A tender lump could develop and may remain for several weeks to several months. Elevation of the arm and hand on several pillows and local application of heat speeds recovery.

What is the benefit of having a colonoscopy?
The doctor can perform a biopsy and remove polyps during the procedure before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when the chance of being cured is good.

What do I need to know before scheduling my colonoscopy?
Prior To Your Appointment
Let your Primary Care or Referring Doctor know if:

  • You are on anti-coagulants (blood thinners) or aspirin-containing products.
  • You have been told to take antibiotics prior to dental visits or diagnostic tests.
  • You have bleeding tendencies.
  • You are diabetic.
  • You have special diet requirements.
  • You have any heart or kidney problems.

Please contact the doctor who ordered these medications for you, for any changes that may be required before your procedure. You must make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the procedure. A companion must accompany you because you will be given medication to help you relax. You will not be allowed to drive, take a taxi or bus alone after the procedure. It is recommended that you have a responsible adult with you for 12 hours following your procedure. Even though you may not feel tired, your judgement may be impaired and your reflexes may be slower. Your driver may be asked to sign paperwork in order to discharge you from the facility. You will be on a clear-liquid diet and drinking laxatives the day prior to your colonoscopy. Please keep this in mind to arrange your work/activity schedule, since you will need to be close to a restroom when you start your laxative preparation.

What if I have questions about the cost of a colonoscopy?
If you have questions regarding the cost of your colonoscopy please call our business office at 651-312-1505

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
There are many different colon-cleansing preps.  When you schedule a colonoscopy, the scheduler will instruct you as to which prep you should follow.  Please view the colonoscopy preps our physicians use most often.

Frequently Asked Questions (Colonoscopy FAQ)