What are some signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
Symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, change of bowel habits, and unexplained weight loss, can all be caused by polyps and cancer. Colon polyps and cancers are very slow to give symptoms. All symptoms should be evaluated fully.
What is a polyp?
Polyps are growths in the colon and rectum. Polyps are usually small and typically do not give any symptoms. There are many different types of polyps. A few polyps, (ademonas) if left in the colon long enough, can turn into cancer. Removing polyps at colonoscopy can prevent most colon and rectal cancers.
At what age should I have a colonoscopy?
Average risk individuals should start colon and rectal cancer screening at the age of 50. People with symptoms or other risk factors would start earlier.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the most thorough evaluation of the colon and rectum. It involves using a camera on a flexible tube to visualize the lining of the entire colon. It requires a full bowel preparation to remove all of the stool the day prior to the test. The test is performed with medication so as to ensure patient comfort.
Is a colonoscopy performed in the hospital?
Our physicians will perform a colonoscopy only at the hospitals where we are affiliated. The hospitals are well staffed and have the appropriate ancillary services, which can be required for some of these procedures.
What hospitals are the doctors affiliated with?
The physicians are affiliated with seven hospitals in the greater Hartford area. This allows our patients to receive their care at their usual hospital.
Do I need to prep for the colonoscopy?
Yes. Please see the instructions in the colonoscopy section.
What medications can be taken or not taken prior to colonoscopy?
Some medications can increase the risk of bleeding after colonoscopy. Coumadin, aspirin, ibuprofen (and most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), vitamin e, plavix can lead to bleeding. People with diabetes may have to alter their usual insulin or pill doses. Heart medications and lung inhalers are usually taken without any interruption.
How long will I be at the hospital for my colonoscopy?
The average stay is 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours.
Do I need to be referred by my primary care physician?
Some insurance companies require a written or telephonic referral from your PCP. You can tell by checking your policy or by contacting your insurance company.
Why do I have to have a colonoscopy consult if my primary care physician orders me to have a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is the best colon evaluation at present. There are other types of evaluation and some patients may request other types of examination. Because colonoscopy is an invasive procedure with some risks, we like to make sure that our patients are comfortable with the whole procedure and the physician doing the procedure.
Where are your offices located, and how can I obtain directions to one of your offices?
Please refer to the directions section for the directions to one of our three offices.
How many physicians are in the practice?
There are five board certified colon and rectal surgeons in our practice.
Which doctor would you recommend?
We recommend the next available appointment with any of our five physicians. Our group often works as a team of physicians helping to care for our patients inside and out of the hospital. It is important that you be comfortable with your physician from our group.
Do I have to pay my co-pay before seeing the doctor?
Yes, co-payments are due at the time of service.
Do you submit my insurance?
We submit for all insurance companies that we are currently participating with.
Should I come in for my visit and/or colonoscopy during menstrual cycle?
Yes. It may seem embarrassing, but a menstrual period is a natural, healthy occurrence. This should not interfere with any appointment.
Why do I have to wait so long for an office appt?
The physicians in the office see as many patients as possible without compromising care. The demand for appointments is very high and this can lead long waiting periods between referrals and appointments.
Can you place my name on a waiting list?
You should schedule an appointment to reserve a time and you may request to be contacted should an earlier appointment become available.
When will the doctor return my phone calls?
Our physicians get to your calls at any breaks during the day. Since there are few or no breaks, calls are often answered at the end of the day or early evening. Emergent phone calls are handled promptly.
When will the doctor refill my prescriptions?
Generally medication refill requests are done at the end of the day, as the messages of the day are reviewed.
Why is my appointment occasionally rescheduled?
Our physicians give the highest quality care for many patients. Colon and rectal surgery has many emergencies, which can require urgent surgery or procedures, including bleeding, bowel perforations, and bowel obstructions. Our physicians are often doing procedures or surgeries everyday. Hospital delays and emergency procedures account for the frequent need to change appointment times and dates.
How soon will my surgery be performed?
It would depend on the physicians schedule and the requested hospital. Our surgical scheduling department would work with both the physicians schedule and the patient to coordinate an acceptable date.
Will I be seen on time?
We try to give all our patients the time that they need to address their problems and to complete their procedures. Because of this, schedules can vary incredibly. We try never to rush any visits, procedures or operations. Our patients appreciate this when we are caring for them or their families. Our physicians try to keep the office staff informed of any delays that may occur in the schedule, so that patients do not have to waste their valuable time due to unforeseen delays. Due to the nature of our procedures and operations we can occasionally have an unavoidable wait. We apologize for any inconvenience.