East Bay Center for Digestive Health Medical Associates, Inc.
Paul S. Chard, M.D., Ph.D., E. Michael Darby, M.D., Susie Ng Cohn, M.D.,
Neil H. Stollman, M.D., Liana Vesga, M.D., Silvia M. Villagomez, M.D., Danny Wu, M.D.
Direct Referral Screening Colonoscopy
General Information and Colonoscopy Consent Form
Background: In the United States, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading of cancer deaths (lung cancer is the
leading cancer). Approximately 150,000 new cases are diagnosed in the US every year. Screening has been shown to
decrease death from CRC. Your primary care physician has referred you to have a screening colonoscopy.
What is it? Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your physician to see the inside of your colon and rectum using a
flexible tube (about the width of your index finger) containing a light and camera. This technology gives the physician the ability to take biopsies and remove suspicious findings if any are seen.
What to expect: On the day before the procedure you will not be allowed to eat ANY solid foods. However, you will be allowed to have clear liquids. Sometime during the DAY BEFORE the procedure you will begin a bowel preparation to “clean out” your colon. Please read the bowel preparation instructions for specific further details – these are sent to
you once the procedure is scheduled.
Because this test can be mildly uncomfortable, you will be receiving anesthesia to make you sleepy during the exam, but you will not lose consciousness and will be breathing on your own. Most patients do not recall having the procedures done because the sedatives can impair short-term memory. The procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes. Recovery time is typically less than 60 minutes. Due to the anesthesia you will be receiving, you will not be allowed to drive home from the procedure. You will need a responsible adult to take you home. You cannot take a taxi or other service, i.e. Uber.
You can have a light meal after your procedure and the remainder of the day should be spent resting. Due to the anesthesia, your judgment might be impaired for the remainder of the day, so you shouldn’t make any big decisions or operate machinery. The next day you should be back to normal.
RISKS, BENEFITS, AND ALTERNATIVES: The risk of serious consequence from screening colonoscopy is very low.
Potential serious complications include, but are not limited to bowel perforation (approximately 1 in 1,000), a small risk of heavy bleeding after removal of polyps (approximately 1 in 1,000) and death (approximately 1 in 20,000). Other possible risks include adverse reaction to sedation, infection, missed lesions and cardiopulmonary compromise. Alternatives to a screening colonoscopy include a radiology test, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, yearly stool test cards, which check for blood, and choosing not to have investigation performed.
If you have more specific questions regarding the procedure itself or the risks, benefits and alternatives, you are advised to make an office visit to fully answer all your questions before scheduling the procedure.