What is a colonoscopy?
Under light, but adequate sedation, a flexible tube with a light on the end is passed into the rectum and advanced so that the entire colon (large intestine) is visualized. It is essential that the colon be very clean so that all polyps or other abnormalities will be seen. If polyps are found they can usually be removed at the same time. Polyps are important to remove because they can transform into cancer.
Will I be in pain?
Despite what you might have heard, the majority of people have very little difficulty with a colonoscopy. Discomfort comes from air introduced into the colon and from stretching the colon with the scope as it turns corners. The pain is similar to cramping. The preparation is usually the most unpleasant part of the experience. We use sedation to help with pain and anxiety. This is not general anesthesia and you will be breathing on your own. Some people choose to have no sedation! Remember, this is to prevent the far greater pain of colon cancer.
Do I need someone to drive me?
YES!!! Since you will be receiving sedation you may not drive until the day after your procedure. Unless you are accompanied by a responsible adult, leaving the endoscopy center in a bus or taxi cab is not allowed. This is for your safety. It is the policy of the facility that you have a responsible adult accompany you home after the procedure or you procedure will be cancelled.
Important instructions regarding medications:
- If you take Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Plental, Ticlid, or any other blood thinner, make this known to your Gastroenterologist ahead of time, or consult with your Cardiologist about stopping your blood thinning medication ahead of time.
- If you are diabetic: Do not take your pill or insulin the morning of the day of your colonoscopy. If you have questions please contact your physician.
What time should I be there?
Please arrive one hour before your scheduled time. At this time important paper work is completed and your i.v. catheter will be placed.
If not already done by our office, please check with your insurance company on coverage and to see if pre-authorization is required. Do not assume this procedure is automatically covered. It is always better to check with your insurance company.