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A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by a doctor and lasts approximately 30 minutes. Medications will be given into your vein to make you fall asleep. During a colonoscopy, the doctor uses a long, flexible, tubular instrument about 1/2-inch in diameter called a colonoscope that transmits an image of the lining of the colon. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and advanced along your large intestine.
Because you are asleep, you won't feel any pain during the procedure. The colonoscope is slowly withdrawn while the lining of your bowel is carefully examined. When the procedure is completed, the colonoscope is removed before you wake up.
During the colonoscopy, if the doctor sees something that may be abnormal, small amounts of tissue can be removed for analysis (called a biopsy), and abnormal growths, or polyps, can be identified and completely removed. In most cases, colonoscopies allow accurate diagnosis and treatment without the need for a major operation.
You will be asked to hold supplements and vitamins several days before your procedure. There will also be some modifications to diabetic medications. If you are taking a prescribed blood thinner, your doctor's office will instruct you regarding when to hold this medication before your procedure. Once your procedure is completed, you will also be informed when it is safe to resume your blood thinner.
Continue to take your other prescribed medications such as heart, blood pressure, acid-reflux, and allergy medication.
You'll need to arrange a ride home after the colonoscopy -- you won't be allowed to drive because of the sedatives you'll be given during the procedure. Your doctor may also give you other special instructions.It is important to discuss your medical history and any medical conditions you may have with your doctor. Be sure to bring a list of your current medications, including prescriptions and any over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you are taking. Also tell your doctor if you have any allergies.
Instruction sheets from your doctor were sent along with the bowel prep regimen. Please follow those instructions to complete your bowel prep- DO NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BOX
After your colonoscopy:
Read your discharge instructions carefully. Certain medications, such as blood-thinning agents, may need to be avoided temporarily if biopsies were taken or polyps were removed.
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