Colonoscopy Procedure

Colonoscopy Procedure Definitions

Colonoscopy - test used to diagnose ulcers, colon polyps, precancerous growths and tumors that involves looking at the inner lining of the large intestine (rectum and colon) where a thin, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted through the anus to look at the colon.

Colonoscope - a long, thin and flexible tube with a tiny video camera that can take pictures or video of the large intestine (colon). Learn more about the colonoscope.

When To Do a Colonoscopy Procedure

Colonoscopy procedure is performed when the patient reports the following problems:

Colonoscopy Procedure Preparation

Before this test, you will need to clean out your colon (colon prep) which may take 1-2 days, depending on which type of prep. Colon prep typically causes loose, frequent stools and diarrhea to empty the digestive tract before the test.

People often arrange for someone to take them home after the test because after the colonoscopy procedure people are recommended to avoid driving for at least 12 hours. Other prep procedures are:

Performing Colonoscopy Procedure

The colonoscopy procedure is typically done by a gastroenterologist at their office, clinic, or a hospital. Patients are typically given pain and sedative medicines via an IV.

The patient usually lies on the left side with knees pulled up to the belly. The gastroenterologist puts the colonoscope in the anus and move it slowly through your colon. The doctor looks at the lining of the colon through the scope or on a computer screen.

The colonoscopy procedure usually takes 30-45 minutes. If the gastroenterologist finds problems the test may take longer. After the test, stay hydrated to replace the fluids you may have lost during the colon prep but do not drink alcohol. Bloating, cramping, gas and pains after the colonoscopy are normal. If a biopsy was done or a polyp taken out, you may have traces of blood in your poop (stool/feces) for a few days. If polyps were taken out, the doctor may suggest taking anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for 7 to 14 days.

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