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Colonoscopy Myths & Misconceptions

Colonoscopy August 15, 2019

Perhaps no other routine medical procedure is dreaded as much as an impending colonoscopy. People come up with all kinds of excuses for not having this procedure. Before you put your life at risk by skipping your recommended colon cancer screening, the healthcare providers at Granite Peaks Gastroenterology would like to clarify some of these misconceptions and bust a few myths while we’re at it.

Myth 1: I Don’t Need a Colonoscopy

Patients who have no personal or family history of colorectal cancer and no obvious symptoms may believe they don’t need this important cancer screening. The truth is with this type of cancer everyone over the age of 50 is at risk and there are usually no symptoms until it’s too late. Those with a family history of cancer or polyps should be screened earlier than 50. The American Cancer Society reports that approximately 1 in 24 people will develop colon cancer during their lifetime. When this life-threatening disease is one of the most preventable types of cancer, why take that risk?

Myth 2: The Colonoscopy Prep Is Unbearable

For some people, this is the entire reason they avoid having a colonoscopy. The prep solution most commonly used at Granite Peaks Gastroenterology is available over the counter, has no flavor at all, and is a gentle way to cleanse the colon prior to a colonoscopy. Some people still require or prefer a prescription, but even those are easier than ever. Most patients are on a clear liquid diet the day before their procedure and can go about their normal activities until that evening when they start the prep.

Myth 3: The Risks of Colonoscopy Are Too High

Most people have heard scary reports of bowel perforation. It does happen in rare cases, but the Cleveland Clinic reports that the risk of intestinal perforation during a colonoscopy is about 1 in 1,000. Other studies put the rate of risk even lower, at about 1 in 1750. Remember, the risks of having colorectal cancer are about 1 in 24.

Myth 4: The Procedure Is Painful & Embarrassing

During procedures, our patients are sedated with propofol, a non-narcotic sedative. They are asleep during the entire process and do not experience pain or remember any aspect of the procedure. Our doctors, nurses and other medical staff are extremely respectful of our patients and aware of the sensitive nature of this procedure. We take every action to ensure your comfort, privacy and modesty. And, remember, gastroenterologists perform thousands of these procedures every year with the goal of saving lives and preventing disease. We understand the importance of putting you at ease.

With two convenient locations, Granite Peaks GI performs this routine, safe procedure at both our Sandy and Lehi, Utah locations. Our doctors are board-certified gastroenterologists, specially trained to make the procedure as safe and comfortable as possible. Contact us today for more information, or to schedule a colonoscopy appointment.