Learn about colonoscopies

A colonoscopy is a procedure that looks for polyps. Polyps are growths that can turn into cancer if they are not removed.

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How does a colonoscopy work?

During a colonoscopy procedure, a doctor uses a thin, soft tube with a tiny camera to look for polyps in the whole colon. A doctor can remove any polyps he/she finds. The procedure is usually about 20 minutes, but you are at the doctor’s office or hospital for several hours.

You will not be able to eat any solid food the day before the test; you can only drink clear liquids, and will need to take a laxative. During the procedure, you are given a medication so that you aren’t able to feel most of the exam.

What happens after a colonoscopy?

If you have the test and no polyps are found, you should have the test again in about 10 years.

Is it covered by insurance?

All insurance plans cover colonoscopy, but copays and deductibles may apply. You should talk to your doctor about the best test for you.