Colonoscopy in Denver, CO

Ready to Consult a GI Physician?

Find a Provider

What Is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure where a long, flexible tube (scope) is inserted into the rectum and navigated through the large intestine (colon). The scope has a light and camera on the end, allowing the doctor to view the colon's interior. This procedure helps diagnose gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain, or unusual x-ray results.

Colonoscopies are also used to screen for colon cancer and polyps in individuals aged 45 and older or sooner, depending on personal and family medical history. It is the only method for preventing colorectal cancer. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Colorado Gastroenterology are well-versed when it comes to performing colonoscopies and other diagnostic procedures. For more information, contact our Denver, CO location.

Colonoscopy exams are crucial in preventing colon cancer, especially for those over 45 and individuals with an elevated risk. Regular colonoscopy screenings offer several key benefits for gastrointestinal and overall health:

  • Early detection of colon and rectal cancer
  • Identification and removal of abnormal growths
  • Diagnosis of conditions like diverticulosis and inflammatory bowel disease
  • The most reliable screening method for colon and rectal cancer
  • Life-saving potential through early intervention

With advances in medical technology, colonoscopies are now faster, more comfortable, and more accurate.

What Should I Expect During My Colonoscopy?

Before your procedure, your Colorado Gastroenterology physician will provide specific instructions for bowel preparation. This usually involves following a clear liquid diet the day before the exam and using laxatives to thoroughly clean the colon. Adhering to these instructions is critical for an effective exam. You may also receive guidelines about your medications, particularly if you take blood thinners or have diabetes. Generally, patients are advised not to eat or drink after midnight before the procedure, except for essential medications.

On the day of your appointment, arrive at the endoscopy center 1 – 1.5 hours early to complete paperwork and prep for the procedure. You'll change into a medical gown, and an IV catheter will be placed to administer sedation. Monitoring equipment will track your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, ECG, breathing, and oxygen levels during the exam.

In the exam room, we will instruct you to lie on your left side. Sedation will be administered through the IV in small doses to ensure safety and comfort. Once you are sedated, the doctor will conduct a rectal exam and then gently insert the colonoscope into the rectum, guiding it through the colon. Air is introduced through the scope to improve visibility, and any residual fluid in the colon can be washed and suctioned out.

During the procedure, the doctor can take biopsies, remove polyps, and control any bleeding as needed. The entire process usually takes between 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the findings.

When Can I Expect to Receive My Colonoscopy Results?

After the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area to be monitored as the sedation wears off. Recovery times vary, but most patients are ready for discharge within 45 – 60 minutes.

You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home, as you will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day. Additionally, you should avoid work, signing important documents, and strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Most patients can resume normal eating and drinking after leaving the endoscopy unit, but you'll receive specific instructions regarding activities, diet, and medications.

The doctor or nurse will review the findings with you, but due to the sedation, you may not remember all the details. It's a good idea to bring someone with you to hear the results. You will also be given a written report, and biopsy results are typically available within a week.

Are There Any Alternative Colon Cancer Screening Options?

While a colonoscopy is the most effective method for examining and treating colon abnormalities, there are alternative diagnostic options. These include barium enemas and virtual CT scans, which can evaluate the colon. However, these alternatives are only diagnostic. Treatment still requires a colonoscopy or surgery if abnormalities are found.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Colonoscopies?

Colonoscopy is generally a safe procedure, with complications occurring in less than 1% of cases. Most complications are not severe but may require medical attention and hospitalization.

Potential complications include reactions to sedation, which can involve allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, and effects on heart rate and blood pressure. There can also be irritation of the vein used for the IV.

Bleeding is another possible risk, particularly if biopsies are taken or polyps are removed. Significant bleeding is uncommon but can occur during or after the procedure, sometimes requiring a blood transfusion or hospitalization.

Perforation, or a tear in the colon wall, is a serious but rare complication. This might be detected during the procedure or later and typically requires surgical intervention and hospitalization.

It's crucial to contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever after the procedure.

While colonoscopies are highly effective, no test is perfect, and there is a small risk of missing abnormalities. Regular follow-ups with our Denver, CO gastroenterologists are essential for monitoring any new or ongoing symptoms.

Find A Provider Find A Location
At what age should you first have a colonoscopy?

We recommend that individuals of standard chance for colon cancer schedule a colon cancer exam at age 45. However, if your risk for developing colon cancer are more than average or you are showing signs of colon cancer, your gastroenterologist may advise having a colonoscopy even before the standard age of 45.

How many years apart is it suggested you schedule colon cancer screenings?

GI doctors recommend undergoing a colonoscopy screening about every decade if you are at ordinary risk, are in good health, and have unconcerning test results. After your screening, your provider will let you know how many years apart you will want to request colon cancer exams moving forward.

Is a colonoscopy a painful process?

Sedation is provided before your colonoscopy, so you should remain relatively comfortable during the exam. Depending on the medication, you may experience an intensely tranquil state and may feel drowsy. Many patients experience virtually no recollection of what happened. Don’t hesitate to ask your gastroenterologist about what to anticipate at your consult.

What’s the average recovery time for a colonoscopy?

Most of the time, you can expect around a full day of recovery, and most patients feel well enough to start their everyday activities the following day. When polyps are removed, the recovery period may take about a week. You may experience some abdominal discomfort after a colonoscopy exam, such as cramping and/or bloating. Our Colorado Gastroenterology team will review more information about what to expect as you recover.

Your Greatest Tool in the Fight Against Colorectal Cancer

A colonoscopy is widely considered the most reliable method for screening colon cancer. It enables a comprehensive examination of the entire colon and allows for the removal of polyps in a single procedure. Other screening techniques might necessitate a follow-up colonoscopy if any abnormalities are found. A colonoscopy may just save your life, so schedule your appointment with Colorado Gastroenterology in Denver, CO today.

I have spent plenty of time in doctor's offices and hospitals and unfortunately am only 30. I have genetics that make me very prone to colon cancer, so I met with Dr. Frank and had a colonoscopy done as a result. They found a polyp, removed it and I have a plan moving forward. Overall, with Dr. Frank and everyone in the office, they were extremely pleasant all the way over to the Denver Endoscopy Center. I have had terrible experiences and this was the complete opposite. I had also called another local gastro group and received a different experience. Regarding the poor review below about insurance and costs. I can't remember her name, but a representative of the office reached out to me about my insurance, clearly explained costs, potential for payment options, etc. Since I am young, my insurance didn't off the bat consider this preventative. I had genetic testing done and she was able to detail what I needed to do with the insurance company to get it to be preventative. She even allowed me to merge a call with her and my insurance provider. Couldn't have been happier. Thank you.

K. Google

At my colonoscopy appointment today, I was greeted by a kind and caring staff. The Denver Endoscopy Center is Immaculate and well-appointed. I felt i was in the best care with Dr. Rufner and his team! Thank you!

K.B. Google

In August I had a colonoscopy with Dr. Rufner at the Golden location, and a few weeks later, my husband had his done in Denver. Dr. Rufner is the best in every way you want a doctor to be. He explains EVERYTHING and spends as much time as you need. I guess that's called a good bedside manner. Additionally, the folks that work on his team are fantastic. The receptionist immediately greets you with a big smile and makes you feel welcome. Then, the nursing staff takes over and they couldn't be any nicer and did I mention how efficient, professional and kind they all were? Anyway, I can't say enough positive about these folks and want to thank everyone at Colorado Gastroenterology for making a difficult procedure almost enjoyable.

N.B. Google

I had a colonoscopy with Dr Brenner she was so pleasant and made me feel comfortable. The staff and nurses that worked with her were absolutely amazing. So kind and caring. I would recommend them to anyone and I would definitely feel completely comfortable with Dr. Brenner handling any Gastrointestinal problems I had.

P.M. Google

Dr Sieja found colorectal cancer on my very first colonoscopy. His care and professionalism supported me through the experience and to a manageable lifestyle to this day.

K.G. Google


Total Reviews


Average Rating