What a Colonoscopy is Really Like, with Dr. James Grant

Debbie Reinheimer

| 2 min read

Dr. Jim Grant prepares for a colonoscopy procedure in a medical room.
Nearly 150,000 people will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. This is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US, and the incidence is rising in people younger than 55.
But colorectal cancer is highly treatable if caught early, and the best tool for early detection is a colonoscopy screening. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of a colonoscopy.
To help ease concerns, Dr. James Grant, chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, documented his own colonoscopy screening and shared it in this video.
Dr. Grant says the first step is to get a colonoscopy order or a referral from your primary care physician. A gastroenterologist or a colorectal surgeon will perform the colonoscopy procedure. Once your procedure is scheduled, you’ll get instructions on how to prepare for it.
Preparation for the procedure usually begins one or two days beforehand with some dietary changes. The day before the procedure, you will only have clear liquids like water, black coffee or tea, broth, or fruit juice without pulp; and jello. However, red or purple juices and jellos are not allowed. This is because the colors can skew the results during your exam.
Your preparation instructions will give you a specific time to begin taking the prep solution. There are many different prep solutions, and each requires a good amount of water in addition to the solution. This helps to clear out your system, which is necessary for the doctor to have a clear view of the bowel.
Once you’ve begun the prep, Dr. Grant recommends staying close to a bathroom. You will likely make many trips there over the next several hours.
Next, it’s time for the procedure. Dr. Grant’s procedure took less than two hours from the time he checked in to the time he was wheeled out. Most people will feel alert and ready to eat once the procedure is over. Because you will have had some anesthesia, Dr. Grant recommends staying close to home the rest of the day.
Finally, when it’s time for you to have your colonoscopy screening, don’t put it off.
As of July 1, 2021, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will cover colorectal screenings for most members beginning at age 45 to align with the recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. For more information, click here.

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Blues Perspectives

Mar 30, 2022 at 2:52pm

Hi Jed. Thank you for your feedback on Dr. Grant’s video. We’ll be certain to pass it along.

Blues Perspectives

Mar 29, 2022 at 9:12pm

Hello Vina. There is a procedure called a capsule endoscopy that matches the description you provided. Here’s more information on that: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gastroenterology_hepatology/clinical_services/basic_endoscopy/capsule_endoscopy.html


Mar 18, 2022 at 11:30pm

I did not find your video very complete. You did not talk about how your night went or how many bathroom trips you had to take. Did you have cramping? You didn't talk about gas after the procedure. You did not explain that your colon was pink but if you didn't follow the prep instructions what it would have been like.

Vina Yazzie

Mar 5, 2022 at 2:43pm

I've done that procedure a long time ago. I don't like being put to sleep. Is there another like you swallow a camera, and it would take pictures? Then you poop it out.

Blues Perspectives

Jun 4, 2021 at 5:31pm

Hi Judy, so glad to hear you had a successful surgery and are doing well!

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