A colonoscopy is the first step in preventing colon cancer. Removal of polyps protects a person from getting cancer. In addition, if cancer is found early and removed, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. 

Colon screenings should begin at age 50 for people at average risk, while African Americans should begin screenings at age 45.

Talk with Your Doctor to Determine Which Tests are Appropriate for You:

  • Annual fecal occult blood testing
  • Colonoscopy (colonoscope is a longer version of the sigmoidoscope and allows doctors to see the entire colon) every 10 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Virtual colonoscopy (super X-ray or an advanced CT scan of the colon) every five years
  • Your Guide to Colon Cancer Screening

At the Digestive Health Center, our experts can handle anything that is found in your colonoscopy in the least intrusive way possible. We offer the latest in diagnostics-colonoscopy, pill endoscopy, and virtual colonoscopy. If something undesirable is found, we have the expertise and tools to remove it during the procedure.

Our GI physicians work closely with the region's only board-certified colorectal surgeons, so if there is need for a surgery, that consultation can happen the same day. Sometimes they even work together to do the surgery during the colonoscopy.

Prior to your colonoscopy, please complete the medical history form and fax it to the Digestive Health Center at 1-319-384-8559.

Tour our Iowa River Landing procedure suite to see what you can expect during your colonoscopy.

Conditions Treated

  • Familial polyposis
  • Healthy individuals with familial history
  • Hereditary colon cancer
  • Screening for otherwise healthy individuals

Testing Options

  • Balloon-assisted enteroscopy (such as double balloon enteroscopy)
  • Colonoscopy
  • EUS
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Treatment Options

  • APC of vascular lesions
  • Chromoendoscopy for surveillance of IBD
  • Closure of leaks or early perforations
  • Evaluation of rectal and perirectal disease
  • Hemorrhoid treatment
  • Hemostasis of bleeding lesions
  • Polyp resection (cold and hot biopsies, cold and hot snares)
  • Radiofrequency ablation of radiation proctitis
  • Rectal cancer staging
  • Retrograde access to the small bowel
  • Sclerotherapy of rectal varices
  • Stent placement
  • Stricture dilation
  • Technically challenging colonoscopies

Colonoscopy types

There are three types of colonoscopies.

Diagnostic/therapeutic colonoscopy

This is done to find the cause of a medical problem, such as gastrointestinal symptoms, colon polyps, or gastrointestinal disease.

Surveillance/high-risk colonoscopy screening

This is done when you have a personal history of Crohn’s’ Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or a personal or direct relative with colon polyps, and/or colon cancer. This is not done because you have gastrointestinal symptoms. You will need to have colonoscopy more often than other people (often every 2 to 5 years).

Preventive/average risk colonoscopy screening

This is done when you do not have gastrointestinal symptoms, are 50 years old or older, and do not have a personal history of gastrointestinal disease, colon polyps, and/or cancer. People in this group have not had a colonoscopy within the last 10 years.

Please speak with your provider about insurance billing before your screening takes place.

Care Team