Many hospitals and healthcare facilities are delaying elective surgeries and procedures, but it’s important to remember that your screening colonoscopy may be essential for good health.
COVID-19 Delays Elective Procedures
Did your colonoscopy get delayed because of the pandemic? With the resurgence of COVID-19, many hospitals are reallocating resources and delaying elective procedures like colonoscopy.
The term “elective” does not refer to the importance of the procedure. Instead, it simply distinguishes between surgeries that are for emergencies and those you can schedule in advance.
For example, knee replacements and non-emergency hernia repairs are considered elective because they could be scheduled for a future date. Screening colonoscopies are also considered elective. However, just because a procedure is labeled elective, doesn’t mean you should elect not to have it. You should schedule it when you can.
Colonoscopy Is Essential Preventive Care
Screening colonoscopy may be essential for your health because it can allow for early detection and removal of potentially cancerous polyps. According to the new guidelines of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, adults who are at average risk for colon cancer should begin screening at age 45.
Young-onset colon cancer is on the rise in the United States, and younger people tend to have more aggressive tumors that may be more difficult to treat. Having your regular colonoscopy at recommended intervals helps ensure that your doctor can detect and treat any developing polyps before they become cancerous.
Consider an Ambulatory Surgery Center for Colonoscopy
Even though hospitals have delayed colonoscopies and other procedures and surgeries, you may have another option. Scheduling your colonoscopy at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) may be a good choice for several reasons:
- Outpatient surgery centers are dedicated to specific procedures, not emergency or trauma, so your procedure may be less likely to be affected.
- ASCs are smaller than hospitals and have convenient parking.
- Your procedure may be less expensive at an ASC.
- Many patients say that ASCs feel comfortable and more like home.
Schedule Your Colonoscopy Before Your Deductible Resets
Have you met your deductible already? Schedule your colonoscopy before the end of the calendar year to take full advantage of your health plan's benefits. Your deductible will reset in January, so contact your insurance company to verify your status.
Find a Gastroenterologist in Your Area
Our fellowship-trained gastroenterologists perform colonoscopy screenings at ambulatory surgery centers around the country. Click here to enter your zip code and locate a GI specialist near you. Then, put a colonoscopy on the top of your list to complete by the year’s end.
Take our short quiz to see if you are eligible for a free or low-cost colonoscopy.