A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by your physician to examine the lining of the large intestine or colon. It is performed with a colonoscope. A colonoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera which is inserted through the anus and advanced to the end of the large intestine. Tissue samples or biopsies can be taken to assess for infection, inflammation and cancer. Polyps are small growths that originate from the colon lining. Some polyps are malignant or cancerous and some polyps carry a risk of developing into cancer. Physicians often cannot differentiate between these polyps and benign (non-cancerous) polyps. For this reason, all polyps are removed during a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are usually performed under sedation administered by an anesthesiologist. Patients usually sleep throughout the procedure and do not remember anything afterwards. However, sedation is not mandatory. If you chose not to be sedated, the procedure may be moderately uncomfortable because the physician will need to put air in your colon to visualized its lining. This can cause bloating, pressure and cramping.
The most important part of the procedure is the preparation.
Your colon MUST be clean in order for your physician to get the best view possible.
Any residual stool in the colon may prolong the procedure or make it necessary to repeat it at a later date.
Please follow the instructions below exactly as written and call us with any questions.
The preparation starts the day before the procedure.
You may resume a normal diet after the procedure.
You may not drive, operate heavy machinery, make critical decisions or drink alcohol for 24 hours.
You may have bloating, cramps or expell large amounts of air from your rectum after the procedure. This is normal for the first 24 hours.
You may not have a bowel movement for 1-3 days. This is normal.