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Direct Access Colonoscopies now offered at Ephraim McDowell Health

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Ephraim McDowell Health is pleased to announce a new service called Direct Access Colonoscopy.  Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.  Many of those deaths could be prevented with a screening colonoscopy, which can detect and remove non-cancerous colon polyps that can turn into cancer if not removed.  Unfortunately, most colon cancers are not discovered until significant spread of cancer to other organs.  Most colon cancers begin as colon polyps that are easily removed during a colonoscopy, preventing cancer from forming.  Thus, screening colonoscopy can prevent most colon cancer deaths.

With the new Direct Access Colonoscopy program, patients can schedule a screening colonoscopy directly by calling a designated number or completing an online form.  That means you can skip the pre-specialist doctor’s visit and follow-up visit (saving you money on two co-pays and/or deductibles), plus it saves you time.

Once your health conditions are reviewed and it is determined that you meet eligibility requirements, a nurse will call you to review instructions for the procedure.  On the date of the procedure, a physician will review the procedure with you, perform the procedure and provide you with the results that day.  A report will be sent to your primary care physician.

Who qualifies for a Direct Access Colonoscopy?

  • Healthy asymptomatic patients age 45 to 75 with average risk of colon cancer
  • Healthy asymptomatic patients with a family history of colon cancer or adenomatous colon polyps in a first-degree relative
  • Healthy asymptomatic patients with a personal history of colon polyps who need to repeat a screening colonoscopy

Individuals do not qualify if any of the following apply:

  • Age 75 or older
  • Weight exceeding 350 pounds
  • Pregnancy
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Lung disease that is steroid– or oxygen-dependent
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Heart attack, angina or severe congestive heart failure in past six months
  • Bleeding/clotting disorders requiring anticoagulation medications
  • Patient with automatic Implanted Catheter Defibrillator
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes

If any of these apply to you, please schedule an in-office consultation with a gastroenterologist or general surgeon before having a colonoscopy.

Scheduling your colonoscopy

To schedule your Direct Access Colonoscopy, please go to www.emhealth.org/dac and complete the online form.  After you complete the form, you will be called by a nurse to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire to ensure that you meet eligibility requirements.  If you are not comfortable completing the online form, please call (859) 239-5871.

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