How Much Does It Cost To Get A Colonoscopy?
The cost of an appointment with your Gastroenterologist plus the cost of a colonoscopy procedure can range from R 3,000 – R 8,000.
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A colonoscopy is an examination that enables your doctor to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine).
The doctor will take a flexible tube about the size of a finger and slowly move it into the rectum and through the colon to look for signs of cancer or pre-cancerous lesions.
Often, the early stages of colon cancer do not have symptoms. That is why preventive screening is very important.
Every year, millions of adults help prevent the development of colon cancer by having a routine colonoscopy.
During a colonoscopy, when doctors find pre-cancerous growths called “polyps,” they can easily remove the polyps – greatly lowering your risk of developing colon cancer.
Symptoms can include rectal bleeding, anaemia, a change in bowel habit, abdominal pain and weight loss, but these symptoms are common for other illnesses as well. When the symptoms are caused by cancer, the disease may be in a late stage.
Before the procedure, you will have to take an oral laxative solution (called “a bowel prep” or “preparation”) to clean out your bowel. Specific prep instructions vary, but the prep usually begins 1 to 2 days before your procedure.
Yes, there are alternative methods to examine the colon, but none are considered more accurate at colon cancer and polyp detection than colonoscopy. They include:
- A flexible sigmoidoscopy and a barium enema (an x-ray examination of the colon after it has been distended by barium, a contrast agent, following a preparation with a Enema or Phospho-soda).
- Computerized tomography (CT), a test that takes pictures of the inside of the colon, can also be done. This is called CT colography or “virtual colonoscopy”. Like conventional colonoscopy, this test requires a full preparation the day before the exam (liquids and possibly enemas).
No, colonoscopy is usually not painful! Almost all colonoscopies can be performed using “intravenous sedation” or “twilight sedation” in which you are very drowsy, but comfortable and still breathing on your own.
The most common type of sedation also has a mild amnesiac effect, so most patients do not even remember the procedure! Your doctor can discuss with you the best form of sedation to suit your needs.
The procedure itself usually takes from 15 to 60 minutes, but you should plan on spending 2 to 3 hours total to account for preparation, waiting and recovery time.