What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the entire large intestine (colon), using a lighted, flexible colonoscope. To be certain you are comfortable and relaxed, you will be sedated through an IV. In fact, most patients are asleep during the entire process and remember little to nothing about it.
How is the Test Performed?
Prior to starting your test, an IV will be started in order for a sedative to be given during the procedure. You will lie on your left side. The scope will be inserted into the anus and examine the entire large intestine and the cecum/terminal ileum (small intestine). The colon will be insufflated with air during the exam, so you may experience some cramping and/or bloating.
The exam usually takes 30-45 minutes. The physician will take biopsies (removal of tissue) and/or remove polyps (abnormal tissue growth) if needed during the procedure. Medication or heat may be sued to treat any bleeding found. Biopsies may be taken for many reasons and do not necessarily mean cancer. After the exam, you will be transported to the recovery area where your vital signs will be observed until you are fully awake. It is normal to have a bloating feeling and pass gas after the exam. If you have any sedation you must have someone drive you home.
The colon must be completely clean of any stool and debris for adequate visualization of the colon. You will receive instructions as to which laxative prep you will be requested to consume; this will clean out the colon. You will be on a clear liquid diet the day prior to your procedure which consists of Jell-O, juices, broth, tea, coffee and popsicles. The clear liquids should not contain anything red.
If you take any diabetes medication or anticoagulant medicine you need to talk with you physician prior to the procedure. If you take antibiotics prior to any dental procedures you need to inform your physician prior to the procedure. If you receive sedation for your exam, you will need to have someone drive home.
Instructions For Colonoscopy
If you take Coumadin (Warfarin), Plavix or Aggrenox, call your physician at least 7 days prior to the procedure. You may take Tylenol, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen. Lovenox or Fragmin should not be used the day of the procedure. Diabetics: Please consult your primary care physician on how to handle your medications and diet. If you are under the care of a cardiologist, PLEASE CALL him/her before stopping any medications. You may continue to take all other medications. Please call our office with any questions you may have.
If you receive any sedation you must have someone drive you home. Taxi cabs are unacceptable. If you must cancel your appointment please call our office 48 hours in advance.
Download instructions for colonoscopy & endoscopy