Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’S

How long will my Colonoscopy / Endoscopy take?

Colonoscopy and Upper Endoscopy take on an average of 30 minutes or longer. It may take longer depending on the findings during the procedure. However, you should give another 30-60 minutes for preoperative evaluation and another 30-60 minutes for post-op recovery before you are discharged from the facility.

Is Barrett’s Esophagus curable?

Barrett’s Esophagus can be eliminated with the new ablation technology of the HALO system. In a recent clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a large percentage of patients with Barrett’s esophagus were able to achieve a cure with the HALO ablation system. For more information regarding HALO ablation click here.

Are There Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Hemmorhoids

HEMORRHOIDAL BANDING

During hemorrhoidal banding, your physician will place a small rubber band around the tissue just above hemorrhoids where there are few pain-sensitive nerve endings. The banding procedure works by cutting off the blood supply to hemorrhoids, thereby causing hemorrhoids to shrink and fall off. Most patients will require 2-3 sessions of treatment to achieve optimal results. Patients are often sedated by an anesthesiologist for the procedure, but this is not mandatory. After the procedure, you may feel a sensation of fullness or a dull ache in the rectum. This can typically be relieved by an over the counter pain medication and usually subsides completely in 6-12 hours. Many patients are pain-free after the procedure. There is minimal preparation required prior to hemorrhoidal Banding. Your colon must be clean in order for your physician to get the best view possible. The preparation includes up to 24 hours of following a diet consisting of “clear” liquids and may require an enema prior to the procedure. It is very important that your physician’s instructions be followed carefully. The quality of the preparation can affect the physician’s ability to diagnose any problems.

INFRARED COAGULATION

Infrared photocoagulation is a medical procedure used to treat small and medium-sized hemorrhoids. During the procedure, your physician will use a device to apply an intense beam of infrared light to treat your internal hemorrhoids. The heat created by the infrared light causes scar tissue which cuts off the blood supply to hemorrhoids. Most patients will require 2-3 sessions of treatment to achieve optimal results. Patients are often sedated by an anesthesiologist for the procedure so that they do not feel pain or discomfort. However, sedation is not mandatory. There is minimal preparation required prior to Infrared Coagulation. Fasting may be required for 6 hours prior to your appointment and you may require an enema prior to the procedure. It is very important that your physician’s instructions be followed carefully. The quality of the preparation can affect the physician’s ability to successfully complete the procedure.

ULTROID® HEMORRHOID TREATMENT

The Ultroid® hemorrhoid treatment system is a new advancement that allows for quick, easy, painless, and effective treatment of hemorrhoids. All it takes is 10 minutes during an office visit, and you can be free of problematic hemorrhoids. There’s no surgery, no anesthesia, and no preparatory procedures. Just a sense of relief knowing that you can resume your normal routine. The Ultroid® device operates through a process that involves sending a low direct current directly to the base of hemorrhoids. This current causes a natural biochemical reaction in hemorrhoid that causes it to begin to shrink over a period of time. Over the course of about 10 minutes, this process eventually causes a significant reduction in the size of hemorrhoids. This process can treat hemorrhoids quickly, but it isn’t unusual for some patients to require 2-3 treatments to completely abate the condition. The Ultroid® system is primarily used for the treatment of internal hemorrhoids. It effectively treats all grades of internal hemorrhoids, from minor Grade I internal hemorrhoids that aren’t prolapsed to advanced Grade IV prolapsed hemorrhoids that can’t be manually reduced.

HET® PAINLESS HEMORRHOID TREATMENT SYSTEM

The HET® System is a new non-surgical device for the treatment of internal hemorrhoids. It is based on well-established scientific principles, gentle, simple, and well-tolerated. The technology is cleared for use by FDA and European authorities. The hemorrhoids are treated with a unique ligation technology, resulting in their shrinkage and subsequent resolution of the disturbing symptoms. It is a gentle, simple technique and easy to use in the ambulatory setting. The procedure using the HET System is usually very well-tolerated and patients experience either no pain or brief, mild discomfort. Typically, patients may return to work and normal activities right after the procedure.

Is Colonoscopy Pain Free

Valley Endoscopy Center offers pain-free colonoscopy assurance. With this assurance, patients can be assured that when they get their colonoscopy at Valley Endoscopy Center, their experience will be comfortable and pain-free. We use the latest medications, equipment, and supplies to provide state-of-the-art sedation to our patients during their endoscopic procedures. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) with special training in endoscopy sedation and experience at top hospitals in the United States, provide sedation during endoscopic procedures at Valley Endoscopy Center. As a result, our colonoscopies and other endoscopic procedures are comfortable and pain-free. In fact, almost 100% of our patients report their upper endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures as “Painless”.  We use a state-of-the-art endoscopy system with variable stiffness technology to minimize discomfort during colonoscopy. Our physicians are specially trained in the latest endoscopic skills to perform “comfortable” Colonoscopies. Our physicians, CRNA, and nurses are certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

I have Family History of Colon Cancer – When should I get my Colonoscopy?

Having a family history of colon cancer increases your risk of colon cancer. If you have a family history of colon cancer you should consult with your doctor to determine if you should get a colonoscopy.

How Should I Take My Colon Prep

PICK UP THE BOWEL PREP JUG FROM YOUR PHARMACY

ONE DAY PRIOR
Eat a CLEAR LIQUID DIET ALL DAY. You may only have: ♦ Clear broth – chicken, beef or vegetable (no noodles) ♦ Plain Jell-O (no red or purple) ♦ Tea or coffee (no milk or cream) ♦ Clear pop such as Sprite, 7-UP, and ginger ale ♦ Clear juices such as white grape, apple, lemonade ♦ Sports Drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light (no red or purple) ♦ Popsicles, Italian Ice (no red or purple and no added fruit pieces) ♦ No solid food. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink anything red or purple.

  1.  Prepare your prep according to the instructions on the container. You may refrigerate to make more tolerable.
  2.  AT 3:30 PM, take four (4) Dulcolax pills.
  3.  AT 4 PM, start to drink 8 oz from the jug every 10-15 minutes until half of the prep is gone.
    (You may prefer to drink it on ice).
  4. Drink the other half of the prep early in the morning of the procedure – about 6 hours before your procedure is scheduled.

TIPS TO HELP WITH THE PREP
♦ Drinking through a straw may help avoid contact of the salty fluid with your taste buds. ♦ Rinse your mouth with water, clear soda, or mouthwash after drinking. ♦ If you feel nauseated, slow down to 8 oz every 30 min for 2-3 cups, sip peppermint tea, or suck on a lemon. ♦ If you experience abdominal fullness and/or bloating, slow down to 8 oz every 30 min until these symptoms subside. (This is normal and will subside when bowel movements start). ♦ If your pharmacy did not supply you with a flavor packet, you may substitute powdered Gatorade or Crystal Light. Follow the instructions on the Gatorade or Crystal Light Container for reconstituting. No red or purple.

DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE. THIS INCLUDES NO WATER.

DIABETIC PATIENTS
No insulin or oral diabetes medications the day of your procedure. If you are on an insulin pump, follow the off-pump plan given by your prescribing physician on the day of your procedure

PATIENTS ON BLOOD THINNERS
If you take any blood-thinning medications please obtain clarification from your prescribing physician to stop taking the medication.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there any way to make the prep taste any better?
Try sucking on hard candy. Add the flavor packs that come with the gallon prep or you can add Crystal Light or Gatorade packets to the glass. Don’t eat or drink anything other than the approved liquids while you are drinking your prep. Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after drinking the prep.

I feel like vomiting and do not think I can drink any more. What should I do?
It is important that you continue to drink the solution if possible. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to thoroughly see inside of your colon to complete the examination. You can stop drinking for 30 minutes, then resume. If you do vomit, wait 30-60 minutes then begin drinking the solution again.

Why avoid red and purple liquids?
The color can persist in the colon and make an accurate diagnosis more difficult.

One of the medications I was instructed to take is red. Can I take it?
Medication for blood pressure, heart, seizure, anxiety, depression, or pain can be taken the morning of your procedure regardless of the color. Only take with a sip of water and make sure you tell the staff what medications you have taken.

I already have diarrhea before taking the prep. Do I still have to take the colon prep/laxative?
Yes, you must take the prep as directed. Your colon is approximately 6 feet long; the entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.

I am taking the prep and already have loose watery stools; do I still need to take the rest of the prep?
Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.

I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks; what do I do?
If your last bowel movement was clear enough to see the bottom of the toilet; you should be fine. It is OK if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is bile that normally colors the feces. This should not interfere with the procedure.

My bottom is very sore. What should I do?
Avoid rubbing when cleaning the area. Gently pat with a wet washcloth or wet wipes. Apply Vaseline, Preparation H, or Desitin liberally.

Can I drink alcoholic beverages?
We strongly suggest that you do not drink alcoholic beverages prior to your procedure since they can cause dehydration and some wines may thin your blood.

Can I chew gum or suck candy?
Yes but nothing with soft centers or red or purple. No sucking on candy or gum after midnight the night before your procedure. This causes excess saliva production which may become a problem when you are anesthetized.

What if I am still passing stool the morning of my test?
Take a tap water enema until you run clear. If this does not work, call the office.

Can I brush my teeth?
Yes. Do not swallow any water.

Can I wear my dentures?
Yes, you may wear dentures to the Endoscopy Center. However, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.

If you have been instructed not to take anti-inflammatory or blood thinner medicine several days before the procedure. What can you take for headaches and pain relief?
You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) as directed.

I have a headache and/or feel dizzy.
Dizziness and headache could be signs of low blood pressure or dehydration. Drinking a regular carbonated beverage (not diet), Gatorade, or apple juice may alleviate these symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids!

Can I have the colonoscopy done if I am having my menstrual period?
Yes, the procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible (not absolutely necessary).

What should I do if I believe that I am pregnant?
It is very important for us to be aware of this possibility. If there is any doubt, please contact us immediately.

May I drive home?
Any patient receiving sedation should not drive until the next day. A patient receiving sedation for a procedure needs a ride home with a responsible adult. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk, or take public transportation after sedation or anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.

What must I bring with me on the day of the procedure?
♦ Bring insurance identification cards, driver’s license ♦ Bring your completed medication list, including over-the-counter, herbals, and vitamins and a list of any medications to which you are allergic. ♦ Make sure you have a ride home and someone to care for you at home ♦ Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing ♦ Bring case for eyeglasses or contacts ♦ Leave all jewelry and valuables at home

Should I be checked for Colon Cancer?

If you are more than 50 years of age or if you have had polyps before then you should be screened for colon cancer and polyps. If you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps then you may need to get screened at an earlier age. Similarly, some high-risk patients such as those with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease also need to be screened at a younger age. You may also need to be checked for colon cancer if you have any concerning symptoms such as rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, weight loss, abdominal pain, etc. Please consult with your doctor to determine if you are a candidate for colon cancer and polyp screening.

Is Colonoscopy covered by my insurance company?

Colonoscopy for colon cancer screening is covered by almost all major insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid. It is also usually covered if you have a history of polyps, colon cancer, or any condition that increases your risk for colon cancer. It is also usually covered if you have a family history of colon cancer. Many insurance companies usually cover screening Colonoscopy without requiring patients to apply their co-pays or deductibles towards the test. Our office staff will assist you in determining your coverage at the time of your clinic visit. You are also encouraged to call your insurance company to determine coverage.

How do I refill my prescription?

If you need a refill on your prescription, please contact your pharmacy and have them send a computerized refill request to our office. Our providers will review and refill for you. Please give us a few days to process the refill request.

What do I do if my insurance will not pay or approve medication that I was prescribed?

If your insurance will not pay or approve medication that was prescribed for you, please contact your pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to send us a list of your insurance’s preferred medications. Our staff will forward the list to your physician for review. Please Note: There may be some medications that your insurance may not pay for or approve that your physician recommends you to take.

What medications can I take the morning of my procedure?

Do not take your diabetes medications on the morning of the procedure until after your procedure is completed and you have started to eat. Hold any blood-thinning medications as was advised during your clinic visit with your physician. On the morning of your procedure, you can take medications for blood pressure, heart, seizure, anxiety, depression, or pain regardless of the color of the medication. Only take with a sip of water and make sure you tell the staff what medications you have taken that morning.