Types of Colonoscopies

Whether you’re here for a routine screening or a more detailed diagnostic colonoscopy, you’ll have a comfortable, private room at Woman’s.

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There are two types of colonoscopy: screening and diagnostic.Talk to you doctor about which you may need and understand your benefits for both types before the procedure.

Screening colonoscopy

A screening colonoscopy is a preventive test to examine the colon to make sure it’s healthy. You may need a screening, or preventive, colonoscopy if you do not have:  

  • Any symptoms of colorectal cancer
  • Personal history of colon cancer or colon polyps
  • A first-degree relative with a history of colon cancer or colon polyps

Diagnostic colonoscopy

If you have possible symptoms or a strong family history of colon cancer, you may need a diagnostic colonoscopy. You may need a diagnostic colonoscopy if you have:

  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Blood in stool or bleeding from rectum
  • A change in bowel habits that lasts more than a few days
  • Personal or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps

Can a screening colonoscopy turn into a diagnostic colonoscopy?

If your doctor finds and removes a polyp (abnormal growth), or finds a mass that needs to be biopsied, it's then considered a diagnostic colonoscopy.

Is there a cost difference between screening and diagnostic colonoscopies?

Medicare covers screening colonoscopies in full—you don’t have to pay a deductible or co-insurance. Most private insurance companies cover it, but you’ll have to call your insurance company to find out the details. Ask about any copays, deductibles, limits or exclusions that may apply.

Medicare covers diagnostic colonoscopies without a deductible. But you will pay 20-percent co-insurance. If you have private insurance, call to ask about your out-of-pocket costs.