University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) has recently launched a new Direct Access Colonoscopy program through a partnership with local gastroenterologists to help speed the process of scheduling a routine screening colonoscopy for certain patients who are ages 50 and over.
Now individuals can call UMCP's Surgical Scheduling Office directly at 609.853.7510 to make an appointment for a colonoscopy and if they meet certain screening criteria, they will be scheduled to have a colonoscopy within days.
To be eligible to schedule through the new Direct Access Colonoscopy program, individuals must be aged 50 or over, must not have a family history of colon cancer, cannot be on blood thinners or have a history of bleeding disorders, cannot have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, must never have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and must not have experienced chest pains or a heart attack within the past 12 months.
Individuals who do not meet these criteria and/or who report gastrointestinal symptoms will be referred to their primary physician or to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to discuss their health and symptoms prior to scheduling a colonoscopy.
Facilities where colonoscopies will be provided include:
- University Medical Center of Princeton, Stephen & Roxanne Distler Center for Ambulatory Surgery, 5 Plainsboro Road, Suite 200, Plainsboro
- UMCP Center for Ambulatory Surgery, 8 Centre Drive, Monroe
- Princeton Endoscopy Center, 731 Alexander Road, Suite 104, Princeton
Once individuals schedule a procedure through the Direct Access Colonoscopy program, they will be given prep instructions for their procedure by a nurse. Prep instructions can vary by individual but generally patients prepare the day before the procedure by fasting and taking laxatives to clear their digestive system. Patients can consume clear liquids, but will stop liquids prior to their procedure as instructed. Other instructions, such as stopping medications, may also be provided.
The Day of the Procedure
On the day of the procedure, the patient will arrive at the outpatient facility with a designated driver, since the patient will be sedated. One of the participating gastroenterologists will perform the procedure, which involves passing an endoscope through the patient's rectum to look for abnormal tissue or growths. The physician will discuss any findings and instructions with regard to any follow-up care needed with the patient once he or she wakes up. Patients usually return home the same day and are able to return to work and normal activities the following day.
For more information or to schedule a colonoscopy through the Direct Access Colonoscopy program at UMCP, call 609.853.7510.