Colonoscopy

A 30 to 60-minute colonoscopy can save your life

A colonoscopy is a generally painless procedure and is the best diagnostic tools to determine if you have polyps, pre-cancerous or cancer cells in your colon, or large intestine.

If you are experiencing symptoms, such as rectal bleeding, bloating, constipation or cramping, it is best to schedule a visit to your doctor for a consultation. He or she may recommend a colonoscopy to determine the cause of one or more symptoms. The procedure can also be used if you are experiencing symptoms such as anemia (low iron) or if you test positive for blood in the stool.

Even if you don’t have symptoms, you should consider having colonoscopy screening if you:

  • Are over the age of 50
  • Have a close relative (parent or sibling) with a history of colon polyps or cancer
  • Have had colon polyps removed in the past

Advanced Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy to remove a large polyp is a generally painless procedure that takes from 30 minutes to an hour in most cases. You will be given intravenous (IV) sedation for the procedure and will not be aware of your time under sedation.

During the colonoscopy, the doctor will pass the flexible scope through your colon to identify the large polyp and any other polyps. They will be removed during the procedure if possible. If not, a biopsy will be done.

Understanding Colonoscopy

If you are experiencing symptoms, such as rectal bleeding, bloating, constipation or cramping, it is best to schedule a visit to your doctor for a consultation. He or she may recommend a colonoscopy to determine the cause of one or more symptoms. The procedure can also be used if you are experiencing symptoms such as anemia (low iron) or if you test positive for blood in the stool.

Even if you don’t have symptoms, you should consider having colonoscopy screening if you:

  • Are over the age of 50
  • Have a close relative (parent or sibling) with a history of colon polyps or cancer
  • Have had colon polyps removed in the past

Advanced Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy to remove a large polyp is a generally painless procedure that takes from 30 minutes to an hour in most cases. You will be given intravenous (IV) sedation for the procedure and will not be aware of your time under sedation.

During the colonoscopy, the doctor will pass the flexible scope through your colon to identify the large polyp and any other polyps. They will be removed during the procedure if possible. If not, a biopsy will be done.

You can expect your colonoscopy to be quick and painless. A screening colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure performed in the hospital or a clinic. You will most likely be given light intravenous (IV) sedation for the procedure and will not be aware of your time under sedation.

During the colonoscopy, your doctor will examine your large intestine with a long, flexible instrument with an attached fiber optic camera, giving him or her a direct look at the lining of your colon. While performing the colonoscopy, your doctor can look for inflammation, investigate specific symptoms or obtain biopsies of tissue or remove a polyp(s) if this is found during your procedure.

What to Expect at Your Screening Colonoscopy

You can expect your colonoscopy to be quick and painless. A screening colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure performed in the hospital or a clinic. You will most likely be given light intravenous (IV) sedation for the procedure and will not be aware of your time under sedation.

During the colonoscopy, your doctor will examine your large intestine with a long, flexible instrument with an attached fiber optic camera, giving him or her a direct look at the lining of your colon. While performing the colonoscopy, your doctor can look for inflammation, investigate specific symptoms or obtain biopsies of tissue or remove a polyp(s) if this is found during your procedure.

If your doctor recommends a colonoscopy, you will get a patient instruction sheet describing your colon prep, which needs to be completed before your screening colonoscopy. This preparation is painless but does require some time, and it is very important that you follow the directions closely.

For advanced colonoscopies, you will need to hold any blood thinners prior to the procedure.

Preparing For Your Colonoscopy

If your doctor recommends a colonoscopy, you will get a patient instruction sheet describing your colon prep, which needs to be completed before your screening colonoscopy. This preparation is painless but does require some time, and it is very important that you follow the directions closely.

For advanced colonoscopies, you will need to hold any blood thinners prior to the procedure.

After the procedure, you will spend a short amount of time in the post-op or recovery area so that the sedative wears off to the extent that you are ready to be discharged. You will need to have someone take you to your appointment, wait for you and drive you back to your home. If follow up is required, your doctor will provide personalized instructions after the procedure.

If you have an advanced colonoscopy, you will be kept on a clear liquid diet the day of the procedure. The next five days, you will stay on a low fiber diet. We will give you instructions after the procedure when you may resume your blood thinners if you are on any.

After Your Colonoscopy

After the procedure, you will spend a short amount of time in the post-op or recovery area so that the sedative wears off to the extent that you are ready to be discharged. You will need to have someone take you to your appointment, wait for you and drive you back to your home. If follow up is required, your doctor will provide personalized instructions after the procedure.

If you have an advanced colonoscopy, you will be kept on a clear liquid diet the day of the procedure. The next five days, you will stay on a low fiber diet. We will give you instructions after the procedure when you may resume your blood thinners if you are on any.

Consider asking your doctor the following questions to learn more about your colonoscopy:

  • Do I need a colonoscopy if I don’t have symptoms?
  • Do I need a referring physician to schedule the procedure or can I set up an appointment without the reference?
  • What will it feel like during the procedure? Afterward?
  • Should I bring someone with me for transportation?
  • Are there limitations to activities after the procedure? Can I go back to work or resume my daily activities?

Questions to Ask Your Provider About Your Colonoscopy

Consider asking your doctor the following questions to learn more about your colonoscopy:

  • Do I need a colonoscopy if I don’t have symptoms?
  • Do I need a referring physician to schedule the procedure or can I set up an appointment without the reference?
  • What will it feel like during the procedure? Afterward?
  • Should I bring someone with me for transportation?
  • Are there limitations to activities after the procedure? Can I go back to work or resume my daily activities?

Patient Stories for Colonoscopy