Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy

Recently Answered

  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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
  • 7 Answers
    A
    A colonoscopy itself usually takes about 30 minutes, but may take longer if a polyp is found and removed. Before the colonoscopy begins, you will be given a sedating medicine (usually through your vein) to make you feel comfortable and sleepy during the procedure. You will probably be awake, but you may not be aware of what is going on and may not remember the procedure afterward. Most people will be fully awake by the time they get home from the test.
    During the procedure, you will be asked to lie on your side with your knees flexed and a drape will cover you. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate will be monitored during and after the test.
    Your doctor should do a digital rectal exam (inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum), before inserting the colonoscope. The colonoscope is lubricated so it can be easily inserted into the rectum. Once in the rectum, the colonoscope is passed all the way to the beginning of the colon, called the cecum. You may feel an urge to have a bowel movement when the colonoscope is inserted or pushed further up the colon. To ease any discomfort it may help to breathe deeply and slowly through your mouth. The colonoscope will deliver air into the colon so that it is easier for the doctor to see the lining of the colon and use the instruments to perform the test. Suction will be used to remove any blood or liquid stools.
    The doctor will look at the inner walls of the colon as he or she slowly withdraws the colonoscope. If a small polyp is found, the doctor may remove it. Some small polyps may eventually become cancerous. For this reason, they are usually removed. This is usually done by passing a wire loop through the colonoscope to cut the polyp from the wall of the colon with an electrical current. The polyp can then be sent to a lab to be checked under a microscope to see if it has any areas that have changed into cancer.
    If your doctor sees a larger polyp or tumor or anything else abnormal, a biopsy may be done. For this procedure, a small piece of tissue is taken out through the colonoscope. The tissue is looked at under a microscope to determine if it is a cancer, a benign (non-cancerous) growth, or a result of inflammation.
    See All 7 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    The way to lower your risk is to make sure that the colon is adequately cleansed of fecal material. Small perforations usually seal themselves off and are followed with close observation in the hospital. Larger perforations may require surgery and removal of the injured bowel.
  • 3 Answers
    A
    A Surgical Oncology, answered on behalf of
    What Is a Colonoscopy Like?

    The psychological barriers for getting a colonoscopy are often bigger than the physical ones, says Daniel Labow, MD, an oncology surgeon at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. In this video, Dr. Lebow explains what it feels like to undergo a colonoscopy.

    See All 3 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A colonoscopy may not be performed if you have not completed the proper preparation. It is very important for the doctor performing the exam to have a clear view of the walls of your colon. If the preparation is not done as directed the doctor may have to stop the exam, and you will have to repeat the prep and have another exam at a later date. While the preparation may be uncomfortable, a proper exam allows the doctor to find and remove polyps before they become cancer.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Be sure your doctor is aware of any medicines you are taking, as you may need to change how you take them before the test. The colon and rectum must be empty and clean so your doctor can view their inner linings during the test. You will need to take laxatives (liquids, pills, or both) the day before the test and possibly an enema that morning. Your doctor will give you specific instructions. It is important to read these carefully a few days ahead of time, since you may need to shop for special supplies and get laxatives from a pharmacy. If you are not sure about any of the instructions, call the doctor's office and go over them step by step with the nurse. Many people consider the bowel preparation to be the most unpleasant part of the test, as it usually requires you to be in the bathroom quite a bit.
    You may be given other instructions as well. For example, your doctor may tell you to drink only clear liquids (water, apple or cranberry juice, and any gelatin except red or purple) for a day or 2 before the exam. Plain tea or coffee with sugar is usually okay, but no milk or creamer is allowed. Clear broth, ginger ale, and most soft drinks or sports drinks are usually allowed unless they have red or purple food colorings, which could be mistaken for blood in the colon.
    You will likely also be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test. If you normally take prescription medicines in the mornings, talk with your doctor or nurse about how to manage them for the day.
    You may need to arrange for someone to drive you home from the test because the sedative used during the test can affect your ability to drive. Depending on the medicines that are used, some doctors require that someone drive you home.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    You can drink any clear liquids on the day prior to the colonoscopy, although we do recommend avoiding any liquids that are red, orange, or purple. In regards to the days prior to the colonoscopy, there are no specific foods that you need to avoid. I also recommend that you remain well hydrated during the days prior to the colonoscopy.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and used to be one of the most deadly. But if it’s caught early, colon cancer actually is curable, and the treatment is relatively easy. A colonoscopy is the most involved test, but the good news is that people with an average risk for colon cancer only have to do it every 10 years. Make an appointment now and be done for a decade. 

    Before the exam, instructions often require a special diet and laxatives to help clear out the colon; an enema also may be necessary before the procedure. This exam prerequisite is the part that most folks dislike.