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October 3, 2016

Get the Facts & Avoid Common Colonoscopy Myths

It’s true: Colonoscopies have a well-worn reputation of being unpleasant, but necessary. While the necessity of a colonoscopy is certainly real, the notion that having a colonoscopy is something that a person should dread or put off is completely untrue. In order to clear up some commonly held misconceptions about the colonoscopy procedure, we’ve assembled a list of the top colonoscopy myths. Myth #1: Colonoscopies hurt   With today’s technology, the notion that a colonoscopy will be painful is simply not true. During a colonoscopy at San Francisco Gastroenterology, patients are very comfortable during the procedure – you should not expect any pain because our specialists use Propofol, a sedation medication. With the use of Propofol, there is no risk of a patient “waking up” during the colonoscopy. Your comfort level is our top priority, but should you have any additional concerns, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to address them. Myth #2: You can have a colonoscopy without having to prepare for it   The colonoscopy procedure requires a certain amount of preparation prior to the day of the procedure. San Francisco Gastroenterology will prescribe a low volume prep solution that provides patients with clean, tolerable bowel prep. We use the “spit dosing method,” meaning you drink half of the solution the day before your colonoscopy and the other half several hours prior to the procedure. Also, on the day before your colonoscopy, you will need to be on a liquid-only diet that also avoids liquids with certain dyes, dairy products and any kind of pulp. Myth #3: Only older people need to have a colonoscopy   It’s true that colonoscopies are recommended for men and women 50 and older, but this age range changes if a patient has certain risks for colon cancer. An “at risk” patient includes someone with a family history of colon or colorectal cancer, as well as a person with a personal history of colon polyps, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, uterine or breast cancer. It’s important to discuss your possible risk factors with your doctor, who will determine when a screening is appropriate.