UI Hospitals and Clinics


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
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years
  • Colonoscopy (colonoscope is a longer version of the sigmoidoscope and allows doctors to see the entire colon) every 10 years
  • Virtual colonoscopy (super X-ray or an advanced CT scan of the colon) every five years

At the University of Iowa James A. Clifton Center for Digestive Diseases, 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. And if something 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 consult 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 James A. Clifton Center for Digestive Diseases at 319-384-8559.

Conditions Treated

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

Testing Options

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

Treatment Options

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

Care Team


Physician, Internal Medicine

Physician, Surgery