Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy

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    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.

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    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.
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    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!
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    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.
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    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.
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    After your colonoscopy, you will be monitored until most of the effects of the sedatives have worn off. You might have some cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. This should disappear quickly when you pass gas. Your physician will explain the results of the examination to you, although you'll probably have to wait for the results of any biopsies performed.

    If you have been given sedatives during the procedure, someone must drive you home and stay with you. Even if you feel alert after the procedure, your judgment and reflexes could be impaired for the rest of the day. You should be able to eat after the examination, but your doctor might restrict your diet and activities, especially after polypectomy (polyp removal). Your doctor will advise you on this.
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    What  Risks or Side Effects Are Involved With Colonoscopy?

    The vast majority of colonoscopies have no complications. In this video, Sharmila Anandasabapathy, MD, a gastroenterologist, explains what side effects can occur after a colonoscopy.

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    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    We primarily use conscious sedation, or "twilight," for colonoscopy. Most people tolerate this extremely well and have little to no discomfort during and after the procedure, which usually takes 20 to 30 minutes.
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    A Colorectal Surgery, answered on behalf of
    Where Else in the Body Are Polyps Found Other Than the Colon?
    Polyps are not just found in the colon, says Roger Hsiung, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Southern Hills Hospital. In this video, he describes where else polyps can be found in the alimentary canal.
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    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    A follow-up colonoscopy is done after a tumor is removed from the colon. The repeat colonoscopy is usually 6 to 12 months after the surgery was completed.