Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    Preparation should begin by getting to know the doctor doing your colonoscopy. All colonoscopies are “not” created equal. Doctors have different training, experience, and outcomes. You should have confidence in the person doing your colonoscopy.
     
    Preparation for colonoscopy is the most difficult part of a colonoscopy. It involves cleaning out the colon so that the doctor is able to visualize the colon itself during the procedure. Everything after the preparation is simple. Preparation is also the most important factor determining the “quality” of a colonoscopy.
     
    If a person is not adequately “cleaned out” for colonoscopy, then it is more difficult to see abnormalities in the colon, and “things” can be missed. Things include polyps and even cancers.

    Typical preparation for a colonoscopy includes (details may vary):
    • A period of clear liquids (usually 24 hours before the study).
    • It is important to drink lots of fluids during this liquid-only time.
    • There is usually a large volume laxative or cathartic to drink, which will flush through the colon. People should have about 12-20 bowel movements as they drink the “prep solution.” Stools should look like slightly colored water, or urine, but the completion of the preparation.
    • If stools are still thick / darkly colored / have debris, the patient should call doctor to describe preparation results. It may be necessary to take additional measures to insure a good prep and allow for a “high quality” colonoscopy.
    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    What happens if a polyp is found during a colonoscopy?
    Watch Trupti Shinde, MD, of Citrus Memorial Hospital, explain how recommendations for future colonoscopies differ based on the type and number of polyps found.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 3 Answers
    A
    Will I Feel Pain or Discomfort After Colonoscopy?
    After a colonoscopy you will feel little pain or discomfort. In this video, Eric Changchien, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Riverside Community Hospital, says that the preparation for the procedure may be more difficult than the procedure itself.
    See All 3 Answers
  • 7 Answers
    A
    Colonoscopy - Patient

    On the day of your colonoscopy, you cannot eat or drink anything after midnight. Before the procedure begins, an intravenous line will be administered to sedate you completely so you won’t feel anything.

    While you are asleep, the physician will insert a colonoscope (similar to a long telescope) through the rectum. Your physician will advance the colonoscope through the anal canal to the end of the large intestine, called the cecum. Once the colonoscope reaches the cecum, the physician slowly withdraws the colonoscope inspecting all areas of the colon. At this time, if any polyps are detected, they can be removed or if there are any abnormal findings, biopsies may be obtained. Ideally, the withdrawal time of the colonoscope from the cecum should not be faster than 8 minutes. On average, a colonoscopy lasts from 15-30 minutes.

    Once you are awake, it is not unusual to feel somewhat gassy or bloated or experience abdominal cramping because of the air that’s inserted during your procedure. Your recovery time can vary from 30-90 minutes depending on which medications were administered during the procedure, and because you were sedated, you should not drive after the procedure or plan to go back to work until the following day.


    Colonoscopy - Patient
    See All 7 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    Do I Need Colonoscopy After Age 85?
    You should have a colonscopy, even after the age of 85, according to Eric Changchien, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Riverside Community Hospital. In this video, he says that being healthy at this age includes this screening test.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    After a colonoscopy, you will be monitored in the recovery room until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. You may feel some cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. This should disappear quickly with the passage of gas.

    Diet - Generally, you should be able to eat normally after the colonoscopy. If your doctor recommends diet modifications, you will be instructed regarding this. If you feel nauseous or are having persistent pain, you should inform the recovery room nurse or call your doctor. If you feel the onset of nausea when you start to eat, it is best to stop eating; usually the nausea will pass, and you will be able to resume eating several hours later. Sometimes this nausea or upset stomach is due to the medications given during the colonoscopy.

    Biopsy Results - It will take about one week to receive the results of your biopsy. If you have not received the results from your doctor's office after 1 week, contact your physician.

    Activity - You should not drive a vehicle or perform strenuous activities on the afternoon or evening following colonoscopy. Unless you have had a polypectomy, you should be able to resume all normal activities the day after your colonoscopy. If you have any doubts about resuming an activity, call your doctor.

    Medications - You should resume your usual medications on the evening following your colonoscopy. It is especially important that you resume taking your cardiac and blood pressure medications. However, if you have diabetes and are taking insulin, do not resume your full insulin dose until you are tolerating a regular diet. If you have any questions regarding your insulin dosage, please call your internist or general practitioner. Unless prescribed by a physician, avoid aspirin, Motrin, Advil or similar analgesics for 2 to 3 days. In general, when you resume your diet, you should also resume your prescribed medications. For other blood thinners such as Plavix and Coumadin, your physician should give you specific instructions.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    In order for the colon to be viewed unobstructed by stool, patients prepare in advance for the colonoscopy. This bowel prep procedure is the part of the process that often makes people uneasy. The preferred method varies widely from physician to physician but the idea is the same; clean the colon clear so that no polyp or cancer is missed. An inadequately cleansed colon can jeopardize the effectiveness of the test.

    The best way to clear the colon is to forgo solid food entirely (liquids only) and induce diarrhea to expel what solids are left inside the colon. There are a few methods for bowel cleansing; drinking a copious amount of a salty solution, or pills and water - both cause high-volume diarrhea in a few hours. Your doctor will give you specific instructions so read them carefully a few days in advance. Expect to spend the day near the toilet.

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    You can eat in the recovery room after a colonoscopy as long as your abdomen feels comfortable and you have passed air. Upon discharge from the GI lab, you can eat whatever you want!
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Alternatives to colonoscopy include other tests that examine the whole colon such as barium enema or computed tomographic (CT) colonography (virtual colonoscopy). Less frequently used are the fecal occult blood test cards and sigmoidoscopy (examination of the left side of the colon). With this method, yearly tests are done to screen your stool for blood. If these tests are negative, a flexible sigmoidoscopy is done every 3-5 years. If the stool blood tests are positive or there are polyps on sigmoidoscopy, a full colon examination is necessary.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Let's not sugarcoat reality: Most people would rather go through a tax audit than have a colonoscopy. But there is also no doubt that this screening test saves lives -- lots of them. During a colonoscopy, a doctor inserts a flexible tube with a camera into the rectum (it is not a self-test, and even Dr. Oz and myself do not do this one on ourselves)  and looks for signs of colon or rectal cancer. That's enough to make most people squeamish, but preparing for the procedure isn't much fun either, since you need to fast and the colon clean out is really special.

    Trust me, it's all worthwhile. A large, 20-year study found that colonoscopies cut the risk for dying of colon cancer by more than 50%. Yet about 40% of adults don't get screened on schedule, which usually means having a colonoscopy at least every 10 years after you turn 50. I had one when I hit the half-century mark and I'm sure glad I did. The doctor detected and removed a little nubbin on the lining of my colon called a polyp, which could have turned into a cancerous tumor.  A bit of hassle for peace of mind? I'll take that tradeoff any day.