Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy

COLONOSCOPY

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the large intestine, also referred to as the colon. This examination is used to perform screening colonoscopies to evaluate possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, and different intestinal issues.
The doctor uses a flexible tube, referred to as an endoscope, with a light that features a tiny video camera on the tip, which allows the gastroenterologist to internally inspect the entirety of the colon. GI doctors can even sample tissue and/or take away polyps within the colon during the procedure.
Adults over age fifty are recommended to schedule regular colonoscopies. African American adults have a slightly higher risk and are advised to begin screening at age forty-five. At-risk adults should schedule regular colonoscopies at 10-year intervals after their first screening to prevent colon cancer. Patients who have a hereditary history of colon cancer, inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD), or alternative risk factors for colon cancer should also screen earlier or increasing frequency.
Your gastroenterologist will contact you a few days before your procedure to answer any questions as well as concerns that you may have about your colonoscopy. Most likely, your GI physician will inquire about any special medical conditions you may currently have.

Some Common Questions Your Gastroenterologist Will Ask Are:

Do you have any special medical conditions such as heart or lung conditions?
Are you allergic to any medications?
Are you currently pregnant?
Do you have Diabetes?
Do you take medication that affects blood clotting?
Your gastroenterologist will also give you instructions for your colonoscopy prep. Prior to the exam, it is important that the colon is thoroughly cleansed. This allows the GI physician a clear view of the colon, therefore a more detailed examination.

Colonoscopy Prep Diet

Colonoscopy prep varies based on the physician. However, most GI physicians require that you refrain from eating solid foods as well as dark liquids. Clear liquids are normally approved, such as water and light broths. Some gastroenterologists also prescribe a laxative.

Find Transportation for After Your Procedure

You will need to arrange transportation before the appointment. Do not plan on using a driving service. You will need someone you trust, that has a valid driver’s license, to usher you from the recovery room all the way home.
It is also recommended that you stay home and limit traveling during your cleanse. You will make frequent trips to the bathroom during this time.

What to Wear to Your Colonoscopy Procedure

Most gastroenterologists recommend wearing loose and comfortable clothing to your colonoscopy procedure. Before your procedure begins, you will be asked to change into a gown provided by the colonoscopy and endoscopy center.
You will be asked to arrive at the Endoscope center 1 to 1.5 hours before your exam. This is to allow time to fill out paperwork and prepare for the exam. You will be asked to change into a medical gown. An intravenous (IV) catheter will be started in your arm so that sedation can be administered. You will be connected to equipment that will allow the doctor and staff to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, breathing, and oxygen level during and after the exam.
Once in the exam room, you will be asked to lie on your left side on the stretcher. The IV sedation will be started. Small amounts are given at a time to assure that you do not have any reactions to the medication and to provide only the amount that you need individually. Once an adequate level of sedation is achieved, the physician will perform a rectal exam. The colonoscope will then be gently inserted into the rectum. The scope will be carefully advanced throughout the colon to where the small bowel and colon meet. A small amount of air is injected through the scope into the colon to help the physician see. Any fluid remaining in the colon after the preparation can be washed and suctioned out through the scope. Depending on the findings of the exam, several things can be done at the time of the procedure, including biopsies, removal of polyps, and control of bleeding. At the end of the procedure, as much of the air and remaining fluid as possible is suctioned out of the colon through the scope. Depending on the findings, the exam takes approximately 15-30 minutes.
After the exam is complete, the patient is taken to the recovery room to be monitored while the sedation starts to wear off. The amount of sedation used during the exam and the patient’s individual response to the medication will dictate how quickly the patient wakes up, though most patients are awake enough for discharge within 45-60 minutes. You will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day; therefore, you will need to arrange for a ride home. You will also be instructed not to work, sign important papers, or perform strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Most patients are able to eat and drink normally after their discharge from the Endoscope unit; however, specific instructions regarding activity, eating, and medications will be given to the patient prior to discharge.
After the exam, the doctor and/or nurse will go over the findings of the procedure with you. Most patients will not remember what they are told after the exam because of the effects of the sedation. It is recommended, if possible, to bring someone with you to whom the results can also be discussed. The patient will also go home with a typed report. The patient will be informed of any biopsy results, usually within one week.
In general, colonoscopy is a very safe procedure. Overall, complications occur in less than 1% of patients. Most complications are not life-threatening; however, if a complication occurs, it may require hospitalization and surgery. Prior to the exam, a consent form will be reviewed with the patient by the nursing staff. Should any questions or concerns arise, these can be discussed with your physician prior to beginning the procedure.
Medication reactions associated with the sedation can occur. These can include but are not limited to allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, affects on the heart and blood pressure, and irritation of the vein used to give the medication.
Bleeding can occur with biopsies and the removal of polyps. Again, significant bleeding, which might require a blood transfusion or hospitalization is very uncommon. However, bleeding can occur at the time of the exam or out to 2 weeks after the exam if a polyp is removed.
Perforation or puncture of the colon can occur. This may be recognized at the time of the exam, or it may not be apparent until later in the day. In most cases, a perforation will require surgery and hospitalization. This is an uncommon complication, even when polyps are removed.
It is very important that the patient contact the doctor’s office immediately if symptoms arise after the procedure, such as worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.
Like any other test, a colonoscopy is not perfect. There is a small, accepted risk that abnormalities, including polyps and cancers, can be missed at the time of the exam. It is important to continue to follow-up with your doctors as instructed and inform them of any new or persistent symptoms.
After your colonoscopy, you will relax in recovery for about an hour until the sedation wears off. Your ride will arrive and escort you home safely. You will not be able to safely drive yourself home, as the effects of the sedation may linger for an entire day afterward.
Post-procedure side effects include bloating and gassiness. Walking typically helps alleviate this discomfort. It is also normal to have a small amount of blood in your stool after your first post-colonoscopy bowel movement. If this persists, consult with your gastroenterologist.
Possible findings include colon cancer, diverticulosis, and polyps. If polyps are found, they will remove them during the colonoscopy and send them to a pathologist.
Polyps are common, and usually, they describe them as benign or cancerous. While the overwhelming majority of polyps are benign, your gastroenterologist will still send the polyps to a lab for testing, as early colon cancer detection is crucial. As soon as your lab results are ready, your gastroenterologist will contact you to schedule a time to review and discuss the results with you.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the large intestine, also referred to as the colon. This examination is used to perform screening colonoscopies to evaluate possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, and different intestinal issues.
The doctor uses a flexible tube, referred to as an endoscope, with a light that features a tiny video camera on the tip, which allows the gastroenterologist to internally inspect the entirety of the colon. GI doctors can even sample tissue and/or take away polyps within the colon during the procedure.
Adults over age fifty are recommended to schedule regular colonoscopies. African American adults have a slightly higher risk and are advised to begin screening at age forty-five. At-risk adults should schedule regular colonoscopies at 10-year intervals after their first screening to prevent colon cancer. Patients who have a hereditary history of colon cancer, inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD), or alternative risk factors for colon cancer should also screen earlier or increasing frequency.
Your gastroenterologist will contact you a few days before your procedure to answer any questions as well as concerns that you may have about your colonoscopy. Most likely, your GI physician will inquire about any special medical conditions you may currently have.

Some Common Questions Your Gastroenterologist Will Ask Are:

Do you have any special medical conditions such as heart or lung conditions?
Are you allergic to any medications?
Are you currently pregnant?
Do you have Diabetes?
Do you take medication that affects blood clotting?
Your gastroenterologist will also give you instructions for your colonoscopy prep. Prior to the exam, it is important that the colon is thoroughly cleansed. This allows the GI physician a clear view of the colon, therefore a more detailed examination.

Colonoscopy Prep Diet

Colonoscopy prep varies based on the physician. However, most GI physicians require that you refrain from eating solid foods as well as dark liquids. Clear liquids are normally approved, such as water and light broths. Some gastroenterologists also prescribe a laxative.

Find Transportation for After Your Procedure

You will need to arrange transportation before the appointment. Do not plan on using a driving service. You will need someone you trust, that has a valid driver’s license, to usher you from the recovery room all the way home.
It is also recommended that you stay home and limit traveling during your cleanse. You will make frequent trips to the bathroom during this time.

What to Wear to Your Colonoscopy Procedure

Most gastroenterologists recommend wearing loose and comfortable clothing to your colonoscopy procedure. Before your procedure begins, you will be asked to change into a gown provided by the colonoscopy and endoscopy center.
You will be asked to arrive at the Endoscope center 1 to 1.5 hours before your exam. This is to allow time to fill out paperwork and prepare for the exam. You will be asked to change into a medical gown. An intravenous (IV) catheter will be started in your arm so that sedation can be administered. You will be connected to equipment that will allow the doctor and staff to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, breathing, and oxygen level during and after the exam.
Once in the exam room, you will be asked to lie on your left side on the stretcher. The IV sedation will be started. Small amounts are given at a time to assure that you do not have any reactions to the medication and to provide only the amount that you need individually. Once an adequate level of sedation is achieved, the physician will perform a rectal exam. The colonoscope will then be gently inserted into the rectum. The scope will be carefully advanced throughout the colon to where the small bowel and colon meet. A small amount of air is injected through the scope into the colon to help the physician see. Any fluid remaining in the colon after the preparation can be washed and suctioned out through the scope. Depending on the findings of the exam, several things can be done at the time of the procedure, including biopsies, removal of polyps, and control of bleeding. At the end of the procedure, as much of the air and remaining fluid as possible is suctioned out of the colon through the scope. Depending on the findings, the exam takes approximately 15-30 minutes.
After the exam is complete, the patient is taken to the recovery room to be monitored while the sedation starts to wear off. The amount of sedation used during the exam and the patient’s individual response to the medication will dictate how quickly the patient wakes up, though most patients are awake enough for discharge within 45-60 minutes. You will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day; therefore, you will need to arrange for a ride home. You will also be instructed not to work, sign important papers, or perform strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Most patients are able to eat and drink normally after their discharge from the Endoscope unit; however, specific instructions regarding activity, eating, and medications will be given to the patient prior to discharge.
After the exam, the doctor and/or nurse will go over the findings of the procedure with you. Most patients will not remember what they are told after the exam because of the effects of the sedation. It is recommended, if possible, to bring someone with you to whom the results can also be discussed. The patient will also go home with a typed report. The patient will be informed of any biopsy results, usually within one week.
In general, colonoscopy is a very safe procedure. Overall, complications occur in less than 1% of patients. Most complications are not life-threatening; however, if a complication occurs, it may require hospitalization and surgery. Prior to the exam, a consent form will be reviewed with the patient by the nursing staff. Should any questions or concerns arise, these can be discussed with your physician prior to beginning the procedure.
Medication reactions associated with the sedation can occur. These can include but are not limited to allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, affects on the heart and blood pressure, and irritation of the vein used to give the medication.
Bleeding can occur with biopsies and the removal of polyps. Again, significant bleeding, which might require a blood transfusion or hospitalization is very uncommon. However, bleeding can occur at the time of the exam or out to 2 weeks after the exam if a polyp is removed.
Perforation or puncture of the colon can occur. This may be recognized at the time of the exam, or it may not be apparent until later in the day. In most cases, a perforation will require surgery and hospitalization. This is an uncommon complication, even when polyps are removed.
It is very important that the patient contact the doctor’s office immediately if symptoms arise after the procedure, such as worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.
Like any other test, a colonoscopy is not perfect. There is a small, accepted risk that abnormalities, including polyps and cancers, can be missed at the time of the exam. It is important to continue to follow-up with your doctors as instructed and inform them of any new or persistent symptoms.
After your colonoscopy, you will relax in recovery for about an hour until the sedation wears off. Your ride will arrive and escort you home safely. You will not be able to safely drive yourself home, as the effects of the sedation may linger for an entire day afterward.
Post-procedure side effects include bloating and gassiness. Walking typically helps alleviate this discomfort. It is also normal to have a small amount of blood in your stool after your first post-colonoscopy bowel movement. If this persists, consult with your gastroenterologist.
Possible findings include colon cancer, diverticulosis, and polyps. If polyps are found, they will remove them during the colonoscopy and send them to a pathologist.
Polyps are common, and usually, they describe them as benign or cancerous. While the overwhelming majority of polyps are benign, your gastroenterologist will still send the polyps to a lab for testing, as early colon cancer detection is crucial. As soon as your lab results are ready, your gastroenterologist will contact you to schedule a time to review and discuss the results with you.

Schedule your appointment with us!

In order to reach a diagnosis, your doctor may order a specific procedure. Be sure to follow all the instructions provided to you by your doctor – both before and after your procedure. You can find out more about your procedure below.

Schedule your appointment with us!

In order to reach a diagnosis, your doctor may order a specific procedure. Be sure to follow all the instructions provided to you by your doctor – both before and after your procedure. You can find out more about your procedure below.

CENTRAL ARKANSAS GASTROENTEROLOGY CLINIC

212 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205

501-664-7200

Mon-Fri: 8AM-5PM

CENTRAL ARKANSAS GASTROENTEROLOGY CLINIC

305 South Poplar Street
Searcy, AR 72143

501-664-7200

Weds: 9AM-4PM

CENTRAL ARKANSAS
GASTROENTEROLOGY CLINIC
Little Rock

212 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205

501-664-7200

Mon-Fri: 8AM-5PM

CENTRAL ARKANSAS
GASTROENTEROLOGY CLINIC
Searcy

305 South Poplar Street
Searcy, AR 72143

501-664-7200

Weds: 9AM-4PM