Colonoscopy Procedure

Colonoscopy is a non-surgical procedure in which the colon lining is examined through an instrument called a Colonoscope.

Doctors usually recommend a colonoscopy for one of three reasons:

  • You are 50 years or older and should have a routine screening for the prevention of colorectal cancer.
  • You have experienced symptoms of a digestive tract problem.
  • It is time for your follow-up screening based on a previous colonoscopy.

Arranging for the examination

Your doctor has referred you to Montrose Surgical Associates because we are specialists who perform these examinations.

  • If you are being referred for a routine screening exam, one of our office staff with contact you to go over your medical history and medication list. If you are found to be a candidate for direct colonoscopy, we will work with you to schedule your procedure at this point. Please click here for more information regarding direct colonoscopy and to view a checklist of items that need to be complete prior to your examination.
  • If we feel that you need to be seen by one of our MSA doctors, or you would prefer to be seen prior to your procedure,  you’ll meet with one of us via a teleheath visit or in person to discuss the procedure.  At that meeting, all of your questions will be answered and you will also receive detailed instructions to prepare yourself for the examination.
  • It is important that arrangements be made for someone to drive you home after you have the procedure. (In view of medications administered for a Colonoscopy, it will not be safe for you to drive yourself.)
  • If you have any questions, please call the office.

Preparing for the examination

Your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare for the procedure on the day before—such as fasting for a certain time, limiting the types of fluids you should drink and taking a prescribed oral laxative.

Watch this video of our doctors explaining how to prepare for your Colonoscopy:


The day of the examination

At the hospital or surgery center, you will be given medication to sedate you and you will likely not remember the procedure at all.

The examination itself generally takes less than 30 minutes, and you will be monitored for 45-60 minutes afterward—until you are ready to be taken home by your prearranged driver.

Receiving the results of your colonoscopy

Your doctor will tell you the results of the examination within a few days after the procedure, or in some cases, even before you leave the surgery center. You will be provided a copy of the colonoscopy report prior to going home.

The risks associated with the procedure

  • Bleeding
  • Unusual drug reactions
  • Perforation of the colon

Please note that these problems occur in 0.3% or less of patients.

Insurance coverage

Colorado law now requires coverage for this screening procedure. However, you should contact your insurance company to ensure that you are following their requirements for coverage.