Frequently Asked Questions

Colonoscopy FAQs

A Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a colonoscope, to look inside the rectum and colon. Colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, and polyps - growths that form on the lining of the intestine.

A Colonoscopy can serve as a screening test for colon cancer. Screening is testing for diseases when people have no symptoms. Screening may find diseases at an early stage, when a health care provider has a better chance of curing the disease.

The American College of Gastroenterology recommends screening for colon cancer at age 45. Earlier screening is recommended for people with a family history of colon cancer, or who have existing medical conditions like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, or Crohn's disease. Regular screening not only helps find colorectal cancer early, but also can prevent colorectal cancer altogether. This is because doctors can find growths in the colon, called polyps, and remove them before they have a chance to turn into cancer.

A professionally trained CRNA ensures all patients at Palmetto Gastro and Hepatology's Center for Colon and Digestive Diseases experience a safe and comfortable procedure without any recollection of their procedure. Propofol is an anesthetic that allows patients to be unconscious during the procedure but has no amnesia effects after the procedure itself. This means you will able to remember everything that is discussed with your doctor after the procedure, eliminating the need for an office visit after Colonoscopy if the test is normal.

While PGH patients are able to rapidly return to full function after Propofol anesthesia, current medical-legal considerations prohibit driving or operating heavy equipment immediately after the procedure. Therefore, patients must have a driver available to take them home after the procedure.

Because of the Propofol anesthesia, people recover quickly. However, medical-legal considerations dictate that patients should not sign legal documents, make important decisions or work until the following day.

Your test will take approximately 20-30 minutes to ensure you get a complete and thorough examination. Physicians who have short examination times have been shown to miss polyps. At PGH, we are very proud of our practice ADR (Adenoma Detection Rate).

Generally, no. At PGH, we routinely use carbon dioxide to inflate the colon. Most endoscopy centers use air. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the body 10 times faster than air, so most patients do not experience any abdominal bloating, distention, discomfort or excess gas after our procedures.

All identified polyps are removed and typically are sent for pathological analysis. Most of the time, your doctor will be able to accurately predict what type of polyp - hyperplastic (always benign) or adenomatous (can be pre-cancerous) - or risk you may have, but in any event, pathological analysis will be shared with you a few days following your procedure.

Depending on family or personal history, and the type of polyps and pathological findings identified, follow-up recommendations will vary. Current screening standard recommendations are to start screening colonoscopies at age 45 for African Americans and 50 for all others and repeat them every 10 years. But if there is a strong family or personal history of colon cancer or polyps, it may be everv 5 years. Depending on the type of polyps discovered, more frequent examinations may be recommended.

Generally, your doctor will accurately predict what the finding will be immediately after your examination. But if a polyp is found and removed, final determination will be decided after the pathological report is received.

Physicians who refer patients automatically get a typed report, including pathological findings, about a week after your procedure. If you are self-referred, we are happy to send a copy of the report to your regular doctor upon request.

We recommend preparing for 2-3 hours. While the procedure itself takes approximately 20-30 minutes, the Pre-Op and Post-Op take some time as we are very thorough and want to ensure you are completely ready prior to the procedure, and informed about all our findings after the procedure. We always like waiting for the Anesthesia effects to completely wear off prior to discharge.

Yes you can.

Generally yes, you can eat immediately after your procedure unless advised otherwise by the physician, however avoiding greasy or spicy foods is advisable.

Yes, we have a $100 scheduling fee. The $100 deposit is refundable only if and when your insurance pays at 100%. If you have a co-payment, co-insurance or a balance, the $100 deposit will be applied to that. If you do not show up for the procedure or cancel on the day of the procedure, the $100 will be collected as a No Show fee.

You can take Tylenol before or after the procedure. You should stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, such as ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Advil, and Naproxen 7 days before your Colonoscopy.

Yes you can.

Office Visit FAQs

We have multiple ways to schedule appointments with us. You can use our Self-Scheduling system on our website by pressing the Book An Appointment button at the top left of the page. After you have requested a time slot, we will get back to you if your appointment has been confirmed or denied. In addition you can call us at (803) 226-9786 or text us at (803) 653-6136 in order to get scheduled.

Most insurances require a referral to be seen by a specialist, we recommend you check with your insurance company to see if you require one or not. You may also call us at (803) 226-9786 or text us at (803) 653-6136 and we can confirm for you.

Prior to your appointment we recommend filling out your information through our Patient Portal so that you do not have to do your New Patient Paperwork in-person via our Kiosk Ipad. In-addition, if this is your first time seeing us, we need your Insurance Card, Photo ID and a list of current medications with doses and how you take them.

Your Co-Payment is due at Check-In.

Our office is located at 103 Gregg Ave NW, Aiken SC 29801. This is for both our Clinic and Surgery Center.

You can access your medical records through our Patient Portal. If you would like them to be sent somewhere specifically, call us at (803) 226-9786 or text us at (803) 653-6136.

Click here to see a list of our Accepted Insurances!

Yes. Since you will be under anesthesia for the procedure, our providers want to confirm that you are healthy and prepared for it.

When scheduling an appointment with us, If you provided your email address you will get an email with instructions on how to register and access our Patient Portal. If you did not receive this email, call us at (803) 226-9786 or text us at (803) 653-6136 and we can resend the access email.

No worries! On the Patient Portal login page, there is a Forgot Username? and Forgot Password? links below the Sign In button. Click those and follow the instructions to change your information. If you are still experiencing problems, call us at (803) 226-9786 or text us at (803) 653-6136

You will receive an email anytime a Document or a Message is sent to you through our Patient Portal.

Texting us through Klara, a HIPAA compliant texting system, is the fastest way for you to get in touch with us. Our texting number is (803) 653-6136.

At the front desk you will meet with a staff member who will confirm your identification and insurance information, check you in for your appointment and have you fill out some paperwork on our Kiosk Ipad if you have not filled it out on our Patient Portal in advance. You will be required to pay your Copay at the time of check in. A Medical Assistant will then call your name when it is your appointment time and bring you to the “Vitals”area where she will weigh you and check your heart rate and blood pressure. She will then take you into the Exam Room and confirm your medications with you and ask you some questions about your medical history. The Physician or Nurse Practitioner will then meet you and ask you detailed questions about your current problems, past medical history, family history, and other pertinent information. Afterwards, the provider will discuss the plan of care, give you written instructions and possibly order tests, (such as Blood Tests, Imaging, and/or GI procedures), and either refer you back to your referring physician or set up a follow-up appointment. You will then be brought to the checkout area where staff members will answer any questions, collect any required payments, and schedule any procedures and future appointments. You will receive a call for any testing ordered that is outsourced. If you are being scheduled for a GI Procedure, you will be required to pay a $100 scheduling deposit which will be refunded to you after your procedure. The only times it will not be refunded is if you No-Show the procedure, or cancel the day of the procedure.