Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your colon (large bowel) for any abnormalities by inserting a flexible rubber-like coated tube, about the thickness of a finger, into the anus and advancing it slowly into the rectum and colon. When inserted, the colonoscope will provide direct visualization of the tissue. Colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” for colon cancer prevention.

What to Expect

Since you will receive medication that is sedative in nature, you will not be able to drive a motor vehicle until the next day, following the procedure. Be sure to have a friend or relative available to drive you home after the procedure. A taxi, bus or government issued transportation is not permitted unless you are accompanied by a responsible adult. Please contact us if you need assistance. We will be happy to provide you with some resources for transportation assistance.

One of our nurses will be contacting you two days prior to your procedure to obtain your medical history and review your preparation instructions. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have at that time.

You will be asked to sign a consent authorizing the procedure.

Please wear comfortable clothing and stable shoes. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home. You will be asked to change into a patient gown.

During the Procedure

During the examination, monitoring devices will be attached which measure your heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure and blood oxygen level.

Colonoscopy is usually well tolerated and rarely causes much pain. There is often a feeling or pressure, bloating or cramping at times during the procedure. Your doctor will give you medication through a vein to help you relax and better tolerate any discomfort from the procedure. You will be lying on your left side or on your back while the colonoscope is advanced slowly through the large intestine. As the colonoscope is slowly withdrawn, the lining is again carefully examined. The procedure usually takes 20 to 40 minutes. If your doctor thinks an area of the bowel needs to be evaluated in greater detail a biopsy (sample of the colon lining) will be done. The specimens are sent to a pathologist for examination. You will feel no discomfort when the biopsy is done.

After the Procedure

You may have some cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. This should disappear quickly with the passage of flatus (gas).

Finally, expect a courtesy call from one of our nurses, the day following your procedure.