Colonoscopy with Polyp Removal

This involves an examination of the large intestine and removal of a polyp. It is done using a long, flexible lighted tube with a camera on the end.




This involves an examination of the large intestine and removal of a polyp. It is done using a long, flexible lighted tube with a camera on the end.



A colonoscopy with polyp removal is an examination of the large intestine and removal of an abnormal growth of tissue (polyp). This is done using a long flexible lighted tube with a camera on the end.

  • A screening colonoscopy is done to look routinely for precancerous lesions, in a person who has no symptoms.
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend colorectal cancer screening for people aged 50 to 75 if they are at average risk for colorectal cancer.
  • The USPSTF states that “The decision to screen for colorectal cancer in adults aged 76 to 85 years should be an individual one, taking into account the patient's overall health and prior screening history.”
  • The ACS has no upper age limit recommendations for colon cancer screening.
  • Colon cancer screening may be recommended at an earlier age if there is a personal or family history of colorectal cancer.

A diagnostic colonoscopy is done to try to find the cause of symptoms that might be due to diseases of the colon. It is also done to remove any abnormal tissue for testing (biopsy).

  • The most common type of biopsy of the colon involves the removal of a polyp or polyps.
  • Polyps are abnormal tissue or growths that are attached to the lining of the colon.
  • Most colon polyps are benign (not cancer), but some can be precancerous or cancerous.
  • Polyps can be found at either a screening colonoscopy or a diagnostic colonoscopy.
  • A diagnostic colonoscopy can reduce your risk of getting colon cancer by removing polyps before they become cancerous.

Most colonoscopies are done to screen for colon cancer or polyps that may become cancerous.

  • A biopsy may be needed if an abnormality is found during a screening colonoscopy.
  • Any colonoscopy might lead to a biopsy, which is a minor surgical procedure.

Prior to the procedure you should tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Some medicines can interfere with the colonoscopy preparation or the exam. The day before the exam, you will drink only clear liquids and take medicine to clean out your bowels. Ask about other specific instructions you should follow before and after the procedure. These include:

  • Medications you should not take before the procedure, such as blood thinners
  • Regular medications you should continue to take on the day of your procedure
  • How many hours you should stop eating and drinking before the procedure

Just before the test, you may be given a medicine that makes you relaxed and sleepy (a sedative) or one that puts you to sleep (anesthesia). Sometimes your doctor will give you a choice of a sedative or an anesthetic. You should ask about the advantages or disadvantages of both.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a colonoscopy and removal of a polyp?

  • What is the reason for the procedure? What other screening options are there for colon cancer?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a colonoscopy over other screening tests for colorectal cancer?
  • What are the complications?. How many procedures your doctor did? Did he/she have any complications?
  • Is there any special preparation for the procedure? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What kind of sedation or anesthesia will I have? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type? What are the possible side effects?
  • How will I feel after the procedure? Will I have to modify my activity after the procedure?
  • When should I return for my next colonoscopy?
  • When can I get back to work or normal activities?

After your procedure, you should know what you had done, what medication was given and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. Make sure you understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also communicate with your primary care physician.

Note: under the Affordable Care Act, preventive services like a screening colonoscopy are not subject to deductibles or copayments when your health plan is a “non-grandfathered” plan and your colonoscopy is done by a network physician. However, a diagnostic colonoscopy, or one done for surveillance for polyps, is not a preventive service and is subject to deductibles and copayments.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Polyp Removal
Diagnostic Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy with Polyp Removal
Colonoscopy
Colon Scan
Colon Cancer


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