Frequently Asked Questions
What are the indications for a colonoscopy?
A change of bowel habits, finding blood in your stool or when you wipe yourself, abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia, constipation, diarrhea, a family history of colon cancer, a personal history of colon polyps, a personal history of breast cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, an abnormal CT Scan, MRI, or barium studies, and other symptoms that may be related to gastrointestinal disturbances.
What are the indications for an Upper Endoscopy or EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy)?
Anemia, abdominal pain, bloating, belching, loss of appetite, weight loss, heartburn, acid reflux, difficult or painful swallowing, nausea, vomiting, or an abnormal CT Scan, MRI, or UGI X-Ray, and other symptoms that may be related to gastrointestinal disturbances.
How do I schedule an exam?
If your insurance does not require a referral from your primary care physician, you may call any of our Doctors’ offices and schedule a new patient appointment with one of our gastroenterologists. This appointment will determine if you need an endoscopy exam. If your insurance requires a referral from your primary care physician, see or talk to your doctor prior to making an appointment with AZ West Endoscopy Center. Also, check with your insurance company to see if our facility is an acceptable site for your appointment or exam.
What do I need to prepare for a procedure?
If you are having and endoscopy procedure, you will be instructed on how to prep for the exam by your doctor’s office. Information on Colonoscopies and Upper Endoscopies including the risks are also available on this site. (Note: Your doctor will give you explicit instructions on which medicines to take or not take at your office visit or when you schedule the procedure.) Please bring your insurance card(s), and emergency contact person’s name and phone number for our records. Also, have a list of your current medications and allergies. Arrange to have someone bring you and drive you home on the day of the exam. We cannot let you drive or take the bus home if you have been medicated during the exam.
We will also call you the day or two after the procedure to check on you. Please leave the best number to contact you the next day with the nurse when you check in.
How long does the procedure take, and how long will I be in your facility?
An endoscopy takes between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on what is found, (i.e., multiple polyps that can be removed during the exam). You will be asked to arrive at AZ West Endoscopy Center at your appointment time to fill out the patient registration information and have our Nurse and Anesthesiology Staff evaluate you prior to starting your procedure. A nurse will go over your medical history and place a small intravenous catheter in your vein in order for the Physician or Anesthesiology Staff to administer medication that will make you sleepy during the procedure. You will be monitored in the recovery area for at least 30 minutes after the procedure. Total time in our facility for an endoscopy exam is usually 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Will I be asleep for the procedure?
You may request no medication for the exam; however, you may experience some discomfort or cramping due to air being put into your stomach or intestine. Most patients receive medication so that they can fall asleep shortly after receiving it. Your physician or a Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)will give you an intravenous medication to make you feel relaxed. Almost all people fall asleep prior to starting the procedure and do not remember the procedure when they awaken. The physician will put air into your colon (for colonoscopy) or stomach (upper endoscopy) to help visualize the lining and this sometimes causes a cramping or bloated sensation. Passing this air during and following the exam will relieve any discomfort.
How will I feel after the procedure?
You may feel back to normal, euphoric, or very sleepy. Most patients report that they go home and take a nap and resume regular activities the next day.
The sedation used during your exam impairs judgment, memory, and equilibrium. We cannot perform this procedure unless we know that you will arrive home safely, so please bring a friend or family member with you.
- You will not be permitted to drive, operate machinery, make critical decisions, drink alcoholic beverages, or do activities that require coordination or balance for 24 hours.
- If you had a colonoscopy, you may not have a normal bowel movement for 1-3 days because of the colonoscopy prep. This is what we expect to happen after your colonoscopy preparation. Because air was put into your colon during the procedure, you may experience cramping, bloating and expelling large amounts of air from your rectum. This is normal for the first 24 hours.
- If you had an Upper Endoscopy (EGD), you may experience a sore throat for 24 to 48 hours. Because air was put into your stomach during the procedure, you may experience some belching.
Except for these restrictions, you may resume your normal diet unless directed otherwise by your physician. Your physician may give you additional instructions at the time of discharge.
Will I talk with the physician after the procedure?
Yes. Your physician will give you a printed post-procedure instruction sheet, (the procedure report itself is completed before you leave the center and you could ask your Doctor for a copy of the report if you wish) and a nurse will go over all the findings and instructions with you. Your physician will request a follow-up appointment, write you a note, or call you with the results of the exam. (It takes approximately 7 to 14 days for your physician to get a report from a pathologist if biopsies or polyps were taken.)
After the Procedure
While every caution is taken to prevent any problems, complications can occur and sometimes these may not become evident for several hours. If, in the next 24 hours you experience any of the following, such as prolonged or severe abdominal discomfort, fever, tenderness or significant bleeding, you must contact your physician immediately at the number provided on your written Discharge Instructions. You may also call AZ West Endoscopy Center at 623-594-4060 during NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS of 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday thru Fridays (except holidays), or AFTER HOURS instructions will be provided on how to contact your physician directly. If for any reason you are unable to reach the doctor (within 15 minutes for serious problems), go to the nearest Emergency Room.