Brian K. Cooley, MD
Gastroenterologist in Plano, TX
As a leading gastroenterologist in Plano and the surrounding Dallas, TX areas, Dr. Cooley is an expert in colon cancer screening with colonoscopy. Early detection is the key to beating this cancer, so if you are 50+ years of age you should be screened for colon cancer.
Colonoscopy Cost in Plano, TX
Like many other medical procedures, the cost of a colonoscopy varies based on the patient’s insurance plan and whether it is a screening or diagnostic exam. Since these factors can significantly impact the patient’s financial responsibility, I wanted to provide some insight into why some colon cancer screenings are coded differently than others.
- Screening colonoscopy is the classification used for those over the age of 50 with no symptoms (either past or present) and without a personal or family history of gastrointestinal disease, colon polyps, or cancer. Insurance will typically cover the cost of a screening exam once every 10 years beginning at age 50.
- Diagnostic colonoscopy is the classification used if the patient has prior history of colon polyps or has experienced rectal bleeding. Other conditions can dictate this classification, but these are the most common reasons.
- NOTE: If you call a doctor’s office to schedule a colonoscopy and mention that you need the exam due to symptoms, it will be coded as a diagnostic exam. It’s important to clarify with your doctor the reason for the exam prior to calling the gastroenterologist’s office to schedule.
If you or your insurance provider should need any clarification from Dr. Cooley’s office, please contact us at 972-758-5484.
Colonoscopy Cost without Insurance
Dr. Cooley does accept cash pay patients for screening colonoscopy procedures. Please call our office at 972-758-5484 to go over qualifications and fees.
Why should I bother to have a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy with polypectomy (removal of precancerous polyps) saves lives. In many cases colonoscopy can even cure early colon cancers. Colon cancer is the number two cancer killer in the United States and each year over 50,000 people die of colon cancer. This disease is preventable through early detection.
When should I be screened for Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer can occur without any signs or symptoms. For this reason, Dr. Cooley recommends following the recommended American College of Gastroenterology screening guidelines:
- If you don’t have a family history of colon cancer, you should have your first colonoscopy at age 50.
- There is some recent evidence that African Americans are at higher risk of developing colon cancer at a younger age and therefore should start colon cancer screening at age 45.
- If one or more first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) has had a precancerous polyp or colon cancer, you should have your first colon examination 10 years younger than the youngest age of the family member with colon cancer, or age 40, whichever is younger.
- There are other guidelines for specific disease states like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease that should be discussed with your doctor. Also, certain familial cancer syndrome patients need to be screened at a much younger age.
Those patients needing an initial colon cancer screening without symptoms or a family history of colon cancer may be eligible for an Open Access Colonoscopy. For qualifying patients, they will not need to schedule an office visit prior to the procedure, which will save both time & the expense of their insurance co-pay.
Dr. Cooley offers this option to help encourage better participation rates in the Plano, TX area for colon cancer screening. To see if you qualify for Open Access Colonoscopy, just call our office at (972) 758-5484 and we will go over a few questions on the phone to confirm eligibility.
What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that is used to examine the large intestine or colon. It is performed by a highly trained physician (usually a gastroenterologist). The patient prepares for the examination over a 24-hour period by following a special diet and taking prescription laxatives to clean out the bowel. The procedure is performed either in the hospital, or more commonly in an outpatient facility called a surgery center.
Patients are sedated and their vital signs are monitored closely during the examination. A colonoscope is gently inserted into the rectum of the sedated patient and guided through the length of the colon and into the very end of the small intestine. The scope is flexible and has a camera attached to it so the doctor can see inside the colon. It also has a special channel that allows the physician to sample tissue and treat various diseases of the colon like colon cancer, colon polyps, and lower intestinal bleeding.
Colonoscopy is the gold standard for the detection of pre-cancerous colon polyps which may be diagnosed and treated during the same procedure.
How long does it take for Colonoscopy?
You will be asked to arrive at the Endoscopy of Plano center at least one hour prior to your scheduled exam time. This will allow our nurses and anesthesia providers to go over everything with you in detail and go through your health and medical history so that we can keep you as safe as possible. Also, they will place an IV in a vein in your arm so that you can be given fluids and medications during the exam.
You will speak with Dr. Cooley prior to the colonoscopy and he will answer any questions you have prior to the exam. You will then be given medications through the IV so that you will be comfortable and sleep during the exam. During the exam, you will be awake enough that you will be breathing on your own but sleepy enough that you are comfortable. Once you drift off to sleep, we will take the scope and go across the entire length of your colon looking for abnormalities and if needed taking a biopsy or removing polyps along the way. This takes approximately 20-30 minutes.
You will then be taken to the recovery room where a nurse will monitor you closely until you are fully awake. Dr. Cooley will go over the results of your exam with you before you leave the endoscopy center. Although you will be awake before you leave it is essential that you bring a friend or relative with you that can safely drive you home.
Does a Colonoscopy hurt?
No, colonoscopy does not usually cause any pain. Patients are sedated for the procedure. They do not feel the passage of the scope, but still able to breathe on their own. Recovery after the procedure is rapid, but some patients may feel groggy for a few hours after the examination. Patients are not allowed to drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after the procedure.
What about the preparation? I heard that it was awful.
Yes, that’s true. The clean out process requires a dietary change (clear liquids) the day before the examination. Laxatives are required the night before the procedure and in many cases the day of the procedure. There are several commercial laxatives on the market that are used for colonoscopy clean out, but unfortunately none of them are tasty. Most patients tolerate them well. No patient asks for seconds.
What are the complications of colonoscopy?
Complications of colonoscopy are very rare. Patients may develop cardiac or respiratory complications related the sedation. Bleeding can occur after a biopsy or polypectomy, but this usually stops on its own. Some patients do require endoscopic treatment of the bleeding and transfusion. Perforations (tears in the colon) can occur and may require surgical intervention. Cautery burns of the colon during polyp removal sometimes cause problems. Post procedure infections are very rare. In general the procedure is safe and effective.
Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition