• A colonoscopy is a test to look inside your colon. It is done by a gastroenterologist, a doctor trained in looking at the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The main tool used to look inside the colon is a colonoscope. A colonoscope is a long, thin (about the width of your little finger), flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light on the end. It is long enough to look at all of the large bowel and even the lower part of the small intestine.
  • When you arrive at the endoscopy center, you will be greeted by our nursing staff who will review your medical history and will insert an IV. You will then have a chance to discuss any questions you have with your doctor before the procedure starts. Immediately before the procedure, you will be given sedative medications which may be administered  by an anesthesiologist. When you are adequately sedated, the colonoscope will be used to examine the gastrointestinal tract and biopsies may be taken at the time of the procedure. The procedure generally lasts 30 minutes and you will awaken in the recovery room afterwards. Your gastroenterologist will then review the  findings with you and may make new treatment recommendations. You are permitted to return to work and all normal activities the following day. Due to the anesthesia involved, there must be someone over the age of 18 present for proper discharge home.
  • Colonoscopies is a very safe procedure. There is a rare (1 in 5,000) risk of perforation (puncture) of the lining of the colon which may require surgery to repair. Other rare complications include bleeding, pneumonia, and cardiac complications related to the anesthesia. You will have time to review the risks and benefits of the procedure with your physician both at your initial office visit and immediately before the procedure. If biopsies were obtained during procedure, you are asked to call the office in approximately one week to review the biopsy results and for further planned follow-up care.

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