Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have lots of questions, a lot of people share the same questions and concerns.
We have compiled a collection of some of the most common questions we receive with answers to help you in your process.

Are procedures done in the Mt. Pleasant and Summerville offices?

Currently, our physicians perform procedures at Charleston Endoscopy Center, located in West Ashley. In some cases, procedures are performed at the hospital.

Can I return to normal activities / work the day after my colonoscopy?

Yes, in most cases a patient can resume normal activities the following day.

Can I take my medication the day of the colonoscopy?

If you are taking medications for heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, or seizure disorders, you should take these the day of your procedure unless otherwise instructed by your physician. If you are taking blood thinners or medication for diabetes, make sure your physician is aware for further medication instruction. Once your procedure is completed, you will recieve instructions for resuming medications and diet at discharge.

Can I take my medication the day of the EGD (Upper GI Endoscopy)?

If you are taking medications for heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, or seizure disorders, you should take these the day of your procedure unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Once your procedure is completed you will receive instructions for resuming medications and diet at discharge.

How long will it take to get my prescription refill?

Please allow 24 to 48 hours for prescription refills.

Is coffee considered a clear liquid?

Yes. Clear liquids consist of coffee and tea with sugar, but no creamer or anything to cloud it. Clear liquids also consist of water, soda, non-pulpy juice, jello, clear soup (broth, consomme) and popsicles. NO milk or cream.

What if they find something?

If a polyp is found, your physician will probably remove it because it could eventually become cancerous. If your physician sees a a tumor, or anything else abnormal, a biopsy will likely be done. For the biopsy, a special instrument is used to take out a small piece of tissue through the endoscope. It is sent to a lab to be checked for cancerous or precancerous cells and / or other abnormalities.

What is colon cancer screening?

“Screening” is a term used to describe a test for the early diagnosis of common cancers. Screening tests are ordered before symptoms develop. For patients with no family history of colon cancer, the current recommendation for colon cancer screening by the American Cancer Society is a colonoscopy at age 50.

Will I be in a private room?

Colonoscopies done at our center are always done in a private room; no other patients are around. Our physicians and nurses are professional and very careful to respect our patient’s privacy.

Will I need to miss work?

Yes. Your procedure will be done with anesthesia or sedation. You will not be fit to return to work until the following day.

Do I need to contact the insurance company before the procedure?

Yes. Although our patient accounting department will contact your insurance company for precertification requirements and coverage information, we do recommend that you verify your coverage to ensure that your insurance company has updated and current information on file.

Does my insurance pay for screening colonoscopies?

Yes and No. Some insurance companies do pay for screening colonoscopies. Every insurance plan is different and carries different benefits depending on the employer. We will not be able to tell you if your particular plan covers this benefit until we obtain your insurance information. We suggest you contact your specific insurance carrier before scheduling your procedure.

How do I enroll in the Open Access Colonoscopy Program?

If you feel that you would be a good candidate for this program, you may contact our office at 843-722-8000. Please leave your name, telephone number and a convenient time for our Open Access Representative to contact you.

How long does a colonoscopy take?

Most colonoscopies take 30 minutes to an hour. You will be asked to arrive 1 hour prior to your procedure, so your total time will be around 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

What is Open Access Colonoscopy?

Open Access Colonoscopy is a program designed to allow well patients without significant gastrointestinal symptoms to have a colonoscopy without the inconvenience of a preliminary office visit.

Who will do the exam?

A colonoscopy at Charleston Endoscopy Center is always done by one of our physicians.

Why am I getting two bills for my colonoscopy?

Charleston Gastroenterology Specialists and Charleston Endoscopy Center are two separate entities. Charleston Gastroenterology is the professional part and Charleston Endoscopy is the facility part. When you have a procedure, you will get a bill for the professional fee as well as a bill for the facility fee. If you have any further questions, please contact our Patient Accounting Department at 843-722-8000.

Why is a colonoscopy so important?

A colonoscopy lets your doctor see the lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon). Using a thin flexible tube (endoscope) your doctor can look inside your colon for problems such as swelling, tumors or growths (polyps). If your doctor thinks an area of the lining needs to be looked at more closely, he will take a small piece of tissue (biopsy) and send it to the lab to be examined. If the doctor finds polyps on the lining of the colon, they may be removed. Polyps vary in size from a tiny dot to several inches. Most polyps are non-cancerous but the doctor cannot tell a non-cancerous polyp from a cancerous polyp by its looks. For this reason, if the doctor removes a polyp, it is sent to the lab for further tests. Removal of polyps is important in preventing colon cancer.

Will I need someone to drive me home?

Yes. Due to the type of anesthesia or sedation that is given during your procedure, Charleston Endoscopy Center and Summerville Endoscopy Center requires that you bring a responsible adult to stay during your procedure and drive you home afterwards. Please note: Regulatory agencies require our facilities to discharge all patients with a responsible adult driver. If you do not have a responsible adult driver with you, your procedure will be canceled.

Will it hurt?

No, a colonoscopy is not painful. Patients are sedated with anesthesia, so they won’t feel anything.

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