What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a common medical test that is frequently done to screen for cancer of the rectum and colon (large intestine).
During a colonoscopy, your doctor will very carefully put a thin, flexible, tube with a lighted fiber optic camera, called a colonoscope, into your rectum and colon. The colonoscope sends pictures of the inside of your colon to a video screen so your doctor can check for polyps [abnormal growths] or colon cancer. If your doctor does see a polyp it can be removed during your colonoscopy.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
When you arrive at your doctor’s office for your colonoscopy, you will have an IV placed in a vein in your hand or arm so you can be given medicines and fluids. Right before the test is to begin, your doctor will give you a mild sedative to help make you as comfortable as possible.
As you lie on your side or back, your doctor will slowly and gently put the colonoscope into your rectum and up through your colon.
You may, however, feel some pressure, bloating, or cramping during the test.
What happens after a colonoscopy?
After your test, you will have to rest for a while until the effects of the medicine wear off. While you are resting, your doctor will talk to you about the results of your test and whether any polyps were removed. If a biopsy was performed you can expect to get the results in a few days.
Do not plan to drive yourself home after your test. Ask a loved one or friend to go with you on the day of your test. Before you leave, your doctor will let you know when you can go back to eating a regular diet.
If you would like more information about what to expect before, during, and after a colonoscopy, please click on the link below to watch a short, informative video.
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