What Is The Cost Of Colonoscopy Without Insurance? Everything To Know!

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
16 min read

In the absence of health coverage, how much does a colonoscopy typically set you back? According to figures provided by CostHelper.com, the average price ranges from $2,100 to $3,764. However, the common price tag for a colonoscopy is $3,081. Deductibles are out-of-pocket costs that policyholders with health insurance must shoulder. These might be anywhere from nothing to over a thousand dollars.

When a doctor needs to see the inside of a patient’s big intestine, they frequently suggest a colonoscopy. A colonoscope, a bendy tube, is being used to perform the examination.

The goal here is to look for telltale symptoms of conditions like inflammation, polyps, and tumors. The biopsy is performed after any suspicious growth is removed. Diseases of all kinds can be contained with greater ease. Keep reading to find out what aspects and expenses play a role.

What is colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a procedure in which the doctor uses a colonoscope, a long, flexible tube about the width of a finger, equipped with a light and a small video camera, to examine the interior of the patient’s colon and rectum. The anus is used to access the rectum and colon. If necessary, a colonoscope can be used to biopsy (sample) or remove polyps or other worrisome growths.

(Note that this is not a CT scan, which is what a virtual colonoscopy (or CT colonography) is.)

Why do you need a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy could be necessary for a number of reasons:

To check for polyps or cancer in the colon and rectum

Colorectal cancer screening is possible with this test. People who are asymptomatic are the target of cancer screenings. The colonoscopy allows for the removal (biopsy) of suspicious tissue for further analysis to check for malignancy. Slender, long devices, like little forceps (tweezers), are passed down the colonoscope to take the samples. Polyps (growths on the inner lining) can be removed during a screening colonoscopy to avoid some colorectal cancers.

How Much Does a Colonoscopy Cost? | Tulsa Healthcare Tips

In addition to detecting new tumors, colonoscopy can be done to check for recurrence of cancer in patients who have previously been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer.

Because you are having problems in the colon or rectum

In addition, colonoscopy can be used to investigate the origins of any symptoms that could point to colon or rectal cancer (such as changes in bowel movements, bleeding from the rectum, or unexplained weight loss).

You have a problem in the colon or rectum that needs treatment

Some conditions affecting the colon or rectum are amenable to treatment via colonoscopy. Polyps and other tiny tumors (growths) in the colon or rectum can be removed, for instance, by passing equipment down a colonoscope.

It is possible to use a colonoscope to insert a stent (a hard tube) into the colon or rectum to prop open the organ if the cancer has progressed to the point where it cannot be removed.

What’s it like to have a colonoscopy?

What follows is a broad summary of the steps involved in preparing for, undergoing, and recovering from a colonoscopy. However, your individual experience may vary based on your motivation for the procedure, the facility where it is performed, and your general health. Before undergoing this test, it is important to discuss your concerns and questions with your doctor.

Before the test

Tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs, and supplements, and if you have any known drug sensitivities (including any type of anesthesia).

Depending on the test, you may be asked to avoid taking certain medications, such as those that thin the blood (such as aspirin) for a few days beforehand.

So that your doctor can see the complete inner lining during the exam, you’ll need to have the bowels cleared out and the rectum cleaned. You may have heard of this procedure being called a “bowel prep.” Pills, fluids, and enemas are just some of the options (or combinations of these). In order to have a successful procedure, it is sometimes necessary to take laxatives the night before. As a result, you may find yourself spending a lot of time there. It’s possible that some people won’t get this test done because of how uncomfortable the process of having one’s colon and rectum cleaned out is. However, there are modern kits available to clean up the bowel that may make it simpler. You should discuss your bowel prep alternatives with your doctor.

Instructive guidance will be provided by your healthcare provider. Because you may need to buy supplies and laxatives and follow a particular liquid diet for at least a day before the test, it’s crucial that you read them thoroughly a few days in advance. Don’t hesitate to contact the doctor’s office if you have any queries about the directions.

It’s likely that you’ll be ordered to fast the night before your exam. Have a discussion with your doctor or nurse about how to handle your morning prescriptions if you don’t feel comfortable handling them on your own.

You will likely need to make transportation arrangements for after the test, as a sedative will be administered to assist you relax. Many facilities that do colonoscopies won’t release patients to take a taxi or rideshare home because they worry that patients may require assistance getting home if they are drowsy or dizzy after the procedure. If getting to the hospital or surgical center could be difficult, discuss your options for transportation with your doctor. Depending on the circumstances, you may have access to alternative means of transportation.

Getting the test

In most cases, colonoscopy can be performed without requiring the patient to spend the night in the hospital as a “outpatient.”

A sedative (administered intravenously, or IV) will be given to you prior to the start of the test in order to help you relax and fall asleep. This medication completely wipes the post-procedure memory for the vast majority of patients.

You’ll need to take the test while lying on your side with your knees drawn up. Before putting in the colonoscope, your doctor may inspect the rectum by inserting a gloved finger. In order to facilitate its insertion into the rectum, a colonoscope is typically coated in gel to reduce adherence to the intestinal wall. Then, it travels all the way up to the cecum, the first part of the colon. If you’re awake during the procedure, you may feel the need to defecate when the colonoscope is inserted or advanced. So that he or she can better see the lining and complete the test, the doctor also blows air into the colon through the colonoscope. Deep, steady breaths via the mouth might assist alleviate pain. As the colonoscope is slowly removed, the doctor will examine the bowel’s inner walls and the rectum.

How Much Does a Colonoscopy Cost? | Compare.com

A tiny polyp may be excised and sent to the lab for analysis if it is suspected of harboring cancerous cells. This is due to the fact that, in some cases, even benign polyps can develop into cancer. Biopsies are small tissue samples taken from a suspected polyp, tumor, or other abnormality in the colon that can help determine the cause of the problem. The laboratory tests will determine whether or not the growth is malignant.

The actual test takes about 30 minutes, but if polyps are identified and removed, the process could take much longer.

After the test

You’ll be monitored closely after surgery to check for side effects. Due to the medications or anesthesia you received, you may need to wait at the facility for up to an hour before you may go home, and you will definitely require a ride home. In the hours following the test, your doctor or nurse should give you detailed instructions on what you may and cannot do.

Bloating, gas pains, and cramping are all possible side effects of this test since air is injected into the colon and rectum.

Results from any biopsies performed during the surgery should be available within a few days at the latest, though additional testing on the biopsy samples may extend this timeframe. To learn the outcome of the surgery, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor.

Possible complications of colonoscopy

Despite its generally low risk, colonoscopy can occasionally cause:

  • Bleeding. Blood in the stool is possible after a colonoscopy if a polyp is removed or a biopsy is performed. Although severe bleeding is not frequent, it can be life-threatening if left untreated.
  • Perforation (puncture the wall of the colon or rectum) (puncture the wall of the colon or rectum). Although extremely unusual, this consequence can be fatal and may necessitate surgical repair of the hole.
  • Hypotension, heart rate, and other anesthesia-related reactions

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor or nurse may tell you to phone their office or seek immediate medical attention. Check your understanding of these guidelines before proceeding.

Factors That Can Affect The Colonoscopy Cost

The price of a colonoscopy can vary widely depending on a number of factors. This can be seen in the following illustrations:

Factor #1. Patient health

Patients in critical condition typically prefer to have the surgery done at a medical facility. The price tag is a lot higher than that of regular doctor’s offices or urgent care centers. As a result, high-risk patients require a greater quantity of support services.

Factor #2. Geographic location

Health care prices range widely across geographic areas.

Factor #3. Place the procedure is performed

Outpatient surgery centers typically have lower per-patient costs than hospitals do.

Factor #4. Facility cost

The price of your Colonoscopy depends depend on the location where it is performed. The costs escalate dramatically when treatment is administered in an inpatient setting. This is due to the fact that surgery in a hospital is very pricey. If you plan on staying there for a while, that is true. And the bills could mount up over time.

Factor #5. Prescriptions

In the United States, anesthesia or sedation is typically used during colonoscopies. This means that even the sickest of people will nod off throughout it. The cost of your prescriptions will increase at that time. A trip to the doctor is necessary for this issue. It might be wise to inquire about potential generic alternatives in order to cut costs.

Factor #6. Location

If you want to live in Los Angeles, you could have to pay more than in other major cities. Get the surgery done in a more rural area away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Talk to the medical professional about this. In fact, it’s recommended that you contact many facilities to compare costs.

Factor #7. Other office costs

Getting a consultation before a procedure may result in additional fees. After the Colonoscopy, the doctors may want to see you in order to review the findings. Get the cost of these checkups rolled into the whole surgery by asking the doctor. It’s possible that the doctor has already taken tissue samples.

The Colonoscopy Procedure In Its Average Cost

Colonoscopies can have wildly different average costs. Many variables are at play here as well. Each person’s bill will vary widely depending on their health insurance.

  • Those with medical coverage typically spend between $2,100 and $3,764 out of pocket. It’s modeled after the aforementioned website. Colonoscopies, on average, can set you back $3,081.
  • Patients who have health insurance would be responsible for meeting any applicable deductibles. Deductibles can be set anywhere from $0 to $1,000.
  • Those who qualify for Medicare often only have to pay a 20% co-payment on Medicare-approved expenses. With medical care being what it is, this is true. This is in addition to any outpatient co-payments that may be due.

Colonoscopy and Its Cost According To The Facility

Colonoscopy can be done either in or out of the hospital. Outpatient treatment settings, such as clinics, avoid the need for in-patient stays. However, admittance and, depending on the circumstances, a lengthy or short stay, are prerequisites for treatment.

  • Costs for an inpatient stay are $4,350 per day.
  • The price of the clinic’s outpatient services is $2,550.

As a rule, inpatient care is more expensive than outpatient care by 41% on average. Therefore, knowing the origin of the method is crucial. That’s assuming, of course, that you couldn’t afford it even if you wanted to.

The Way That Colonoscopy Works

Prepare for your colonoscopy by having one done, which can take anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes. A colonoscope, a long, flexible tube, is used to perform the procedure. Most of the time, it’s put directly through the rectum. A doctor can examine the colon’s lining thanks to a little video camera.

The scope’s length makes it suitable for examining the whole colon. A physician can pump carbon dioxide or air into the colon with the help of a tube and a light. The colon will expand due to the inhalation of carbon dioxide or air. As a result, the lining of the colon can be clearly observed.

Tissue samples will be extracted using instruments placed in the canal. Any abnormal tissues, such as polyps, will also be eliminated. Read up on Colonoscopy essentials to get a better grasp of the procedure.

Referral Is As Needed

Colonoscopies can sometimes be performed without a patient’s needing to be referred. If there are no serious health concerns, a direct access colonoscopy can be performed. As a result, doctors can easily send patients to other medical professionals. So it goes without proper consultation on the stomach ailment.

In particular, it is useful for patients who are otherwise healthy but might benefit from having a colonoscopy performed as part of a preventative health care plan. But it shouldn’t come with other major health issues. The patient must meet the criteria, though.

How Much Is A Colonoscopy Without Insurance? - Insurance Noon

Recommendations of direct access Colonoscopy would go for:

  • Individuals over the age of 45 who are asymptomatic and otherwise healthy
  • Over-forty-year-olds with a family history of colon cancer
  • Those who know they have had polyps in the colon in the past
  • You and the local PCPs have a same goal with the program. This is done to improve colon cancer screening referral procedures. It does so while keeping patient costs and hassles to a minimum. If you do not meet the prerequisites for it, seeing a doctor is probably in order. So, book an appointment for a recommendation.

Wrap Up!

The procedure is recommended for both sexes, so it’s important to know how much a colonoscopy would set you back even without health insurance. If they are above the age of 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, this is true.

Uninsured patients may find the surgery prohibitively costly. However, there are always options available to reduce expenses, such as receiving care in an outpatient setting, selecting a low-cost treatment, and requesting generic sedative prescriptions. What health insurance plans cover platelet-rich plasma therapy? or how much does over-the-counter Adderall cost without a prescription? are two related topics that may be of interest to you. Friends, up until this point! Your attention is appreciated.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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