What is Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a procedure in which a trained specialist uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a colonoscope or scope, to look inside your rectum and colon. Colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, polyps, and cancer.

Why do doctors use colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy can help a doctor find the cause of unexplained symptoms, such as

  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in your bowel activity
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Chronic Constipation
  • PR bleed
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anemia

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

To prepare for a colonoscopy, you will need to talk with your doctor, arrange for a ride home, clean out your bowel, and change your diet.

Talk with your doctor!

You should talk with your doctor about any medical conditions you have and all prescribed and over-the-counter medicines you take, including:

  • Aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin
  • Arthritis medicines
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Blood thinners
  • Diabetes medicines

Clean out your bowel and change your diet.

A health care professional will give you written bowel prep instructions before the procedure, so that little to no stool is present in your colon. A complete bowel prep lets you pass stool that is clear. Stool inside your colon can prevent your doctor from clearly seeing the lining of your intestine.

How do doctors perform a colonoscopy?

A health care professional will place an intravenous (IV) needle in a vein in your arm to give you sedatives, anesthesia, or pain medicine so you can relax during the procedure. The health care staff will monitor your vital signs and keep you as comfortable as possible.
For the procedure, you’ll be asked to lie on a table while the doctor inserts a colonoscope into your anus and slowly guides it through your rectum and into your colon. The scope pumps air into your large intestine to give the doctor a better view. The camera sends a video image of the intestinal lining to a monitor, allowing the doctor to examine
The doctor may also perform a biopsy. You won’t feel the biopsy.Colonoscopy typically takes 15 to 30 minutes.

What should I expect after a colonoscopy?

  • You’ll stay at the hospital or outpatient center for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure.
  • You may have abdominal cramping or bloating during the first hour after the procedure.
  • The sedatives or anesthesia takes time to wear off completely.
  • You should expect a full recovery by the next day, and you should be able to go back to your normal diet.

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