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.

SUPREP ® Bowel Prep Kit (sodium sulfate, potassium sulfate and magnesium sulfate) Oral Solution is an osmotic laxative indicated for cleansing of the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults. Most common adverse reactions (>2%) are overall discomfort, abdominal distention, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and headache. Use is contraindicated in the following conditions: gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction, bowel perforation, toxic colitis and toxic megacolon, gastric retention, ileus, known allergies to components of the kit. Use caution when prescribing for patients with a history of seizures, arrhythmias, impaired gag reflex, regurgitation or aspiration, severe active ulcerative colitis, impaired renal function or patients taking medications that may affect renal function or electrolytes. Use can cause temporary elevations in uric acid. Uric acid fluctuations in patients with gout may precipitate an acute flare. Administration of osmotic laxative products may produce mucosal aphthous ulcerations, and there have been reports of more serious cases of ischemic colitis requiring hospitalization. Patients with impaired water handling who experience severe vomiting should be closely monitored including measurement of electrolytes. Advise all patients to hydrate adequately before, during, and after use. Each bottle must be diluted with water to a final volume of 16 ounces and ingestion of additional water as recommended is important to patient tolerance.

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