Screening is important.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if all adults aged 50 or older had regular screening tests, or colonoscopies for colon cancer, as many as 60% of the deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. While 90% of colorectal cancer cases occur in adults aged 50 or older, it is essential for individuals with risk factors (those with a family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or heavy alcohol use) to seek regular screening earlier.

Tell someone you love today about the importance of colorectal cancer tests and share this flyer with them for more information.

Because colon cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in our community, colonoscopies are one of the more frequent procedures performed at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.


A specialist performs colonoscopy. Your insurance may require a referral from your primary care physician to see a specialist.

A specialist may perform a colonoscopy to conduct screening or for diagnostic purposes. If they determine that you require a colonoscopy, a surgical appointment at ALMH will be set up for you by the specialist.

What To Bring

On the day of colonoscopy be sure to bring your ID, current insurance card, any orders or testing required by your physician, a current medication list and a copy of any advanced directives (living will or durable power of attorney for healthcare). You should have someone with you who can drive you home as you will be drowsy.

How to Prepare

The entire colon must be cleaned out in order to perform a colonoscopy. This is accomplished by a special diet given to patients by their specialist.

What to Expect

The recovery time for colonoscopy is relatively quick due to the short length of the procedure and the light sedation required. After the procedure, you may feel crampy and full of air. After the procedure, it is important that a support person is available to drive the patient home because the sedative takes up to 24 hours to wear off completely.

During a colonoscopy procedure, a colonoscope is used to view the entire colon and the rectum. A colonoscope is a long, thin, lighted tube. The colonoscope allows the physician to obtain small tissue samples, remove polyps, and apply medications or heat treatment directly to the lining of the colon. The colonoscope also contains a light and a video camera at the end of the tube that allows the specialist to view the colon during the exam and take pictures.

Patients are sedated during the screening. Most patients do not remember any of the procedure.

The procedure takes from 15 to 60 minutes. Typically patients are completely done and on your way home within 2-3 hours.