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What is the ColonoscopyAssist Program About?

  • The ColonoscopyAssist program provides colonoscopy screenings and colon cancer support for the underinsured community.
  • The program offers 4 tests at a heavily discounted rate :
    1. Colonoscopy
    2. Upper Endoscopy
    3. Cologuard (DNA Test)
    4. FIT Tests (Stool Test)
  • Interest Free Payment Plan Options are available for patients unable to afford a test.
  • Screenings are provided completely free of charge in certain regions where funding is available.
  • Support and help is provided for patients diagnosed with colon cancer.

Conscious Sedation vs
MAC Anesthesia

 

What are my options ?

There are 2 types of sedation that can be used during a colonoscopy.
1) Conscious/Twilight Sedation or
2) MAC Anesthesia.

About half our patients are scheduled with Conscious sedation and half are scheduled with MAC Anesthesia. The information below will tell you a little bit about each and will allow you to make an informed decision in selecting what option is better for you.

Conscious Sedation

Up until a few years ago, Conscious sedation was the most commonly used form of sedation during a colonoscopy in the USA. It is also the type of sedation recommended by Medicare for a colonoscopy. It is the same sedation that you receive when you have your wisdom teeth extracted at the oral surgeon.

The sedation, usually a mixture of Demerol & Versed or Fentanyl & Versed, is administered to the patient via IV. As the name suggests, you will be heavily sedated but conscious and will be able to somewhat respond to verbal stimulation. Depending on the individual, the sedation could takes up to a few hours to wear off after the procedure. The facility will usually keep you in a recovery bay until they feel enough of the sedation has worn off for you to leave the premises safely. You will be required to have someone pick you up from the facility and ensure that you reach home safely. You will not be allowed to operate a vehicle or any machinery that day.

An anesthesiologist is not required to administer conscious sedation as gastroenterologists and surgeons are adequately trained to administer the sedation. Since the performing physician administers the sedation themselves, typically the cost of conscious sedation is included in the cost of the colonoscopy. At ColonoscopyAssist, the cost of sedation is always included in the cost of your procedure.

“Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic) during a medical or dental procedure. You will probably stay awake but may not be able to speak. Conscious sedation lets you recover quickly and return to your everyday activities soon after your procedure.” (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007409.htm)

 

MAC Anesthesia

MAC Anesthesia stands for Monitored Anesthesia Care and is another form of sedation that can be used during a colonoscopy. In the past few recent years, it has gained wide acceptance and become the popular choice of sedation for colonoscopy.

With MAC anesthesia, you will be put to sleep and will be unconscious however, you will be able to breathe on your own without the need of a ventilator or breathing tube.

MAC Anesthesia commonly uses the drug Propofol and is administered to the patient via an IV. This type of anesthesia gives comfort and amnesia to patients that are anxious and also gives the advantage of a much quicker recovery than conscious sedation. The patient gets up from the induced sleep almost instantly after medication is stopped and a large part of the effects of the drug wear off in less than 20 minutes. The quick recovery time, is one of the reasons why MAC anesthesia has become so popular. From a facility operations perspective, it allows a quicker turn around time for procedures. Even with the quick recovery time, patients will still need someone to pick them up and ensure that they get home safely. You will not be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for the rest of the day.

Only an anesthesiologist or a licensed CRNA can administer MAC Anesthesia. Physicians performing the procedure will not administer the drug. Due to an additional physician or nurse being involved, there is usually an additional anesthesia fee involved with your procedure. At ColonoscopyAssist, the cost of anesthesia is included in the cost of your procedure if the facility offers it.

 

Please note: The information on this website is provided by ColonoscopyAssist™ for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care or advice.


Call Us

If you have questions on why a colonoscopy is important, call our office Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.