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Bowel Prep Instructions


What to Know Before Your Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy involves the visual examination of the colon lining, which spans approximately 5-6 feet in length. During this procedure, a flexible fiberoptic tube, roughly the thickness of a finger, is gently maneuvered through the colon to the cecum, aiming to detect any abnormalities. 
While colonoscopies are primarily conducted to screen for colon cancer, they can also provide insights into the underlying causes of symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. It's recommended that individuals aged 45 or older undergo a screening colonoscopy, although these age recommendations may vary based on factors such as race or family history of cancer. Additionally, colonoscopies can serve as diagnostic tools for conditions like Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.

How to Prep For Your Colonoscopy

Frequently Asked Questions

During the examination, you will be administered sedation with the drug Propofol and closely monitored by anesthesia professionals. It's important to inform our office of any medication allergies. The colonoscopy procedure involves the insertion of a flexible, illuminated fiberoptic tube into the colon to inspect the lining of the large intestine. With state-of-the-art technology and medications, patients typically experience minimal to no pain or discomfort throughout the procedure. Additionally, the physician may perform biopsies, which involve taking tissue samples for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. It's important to note that biopsies are not painful.

A polyp is a growth that attaches to the inside of the colon. While not all polyps are precancerous, it's strongly advised to remove them for examination under a microscope to determine an accurate diagnosis. Polyps can be broadly classified as either hyperplastic or adenomatous. Hyperplastic polyps typically pose no cancer risk. However, adenomatous polyps have the potential to develop into colon cancer over time as they grow and enlarge. Occasionally, polyps are incidentally discovered during a colonoscopy performed for other reasons. We recommend that all patients grant permission in advance for polyp removal, if discovered.

If a polyp is discovered during your examination, a thin snare wire is passed through the colonoscope to remove the polyp. Once removed, the polyp is extracted from the colon and sent to the pathologist for thorough examination. Since individuals with precancerous colon polyps are at higher risk for colon cancer, they will require a colonoscopy in the future based on current guidelines. Adhering to screening colonoscopy guidelines and scheduling repeat exams as advised can significantly reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.

For further information regarding polyps, colonoscopies, or other gastrointestinal conditions, please refer to the patient education resources available under the patient information tab. If a biopsy is taken during your examination, our office will contact you with your pathology results within 7-10 business days.

Colonoscopies with polypectomy (removal of polyps) are safe procedures with a very low risk of complications. Potential complications include perforation (rupture) of the colon, bleeding from the colon, and side effects from the medications (sedatives) administered during the procedure. It's crucial to inform the physician if you are taking any blood thinners (such as coumadin, Aggrenox, or Plavix), and to review all medications and allergies with the office beforehand.

After the examination, once you have awakened, the physician will discuss the findings with you and your authorized companion. You may experience some bloating for approximately 30-60 minutes after the exam, which typically resolves as gas is passed. Walking around can help alleviate this discomfort. Additionally, you may feel drowsy for several hours afterward due to the medications administered before the procedure. It's important not to plan to return to work, drive, or engage in signing any legal documents for the remainder of the day. You can resume eating once you leave the office, but we recommend consuming light, non-greasy foods.

If your physician removes polyps or takes a tissue biopsy during the examination, their nurse will contact you within 7-10 business days with the pathology results.

Regarding transportation, it's mandatory for every patient to have a licensed driver to accompany them home from the procedure. The driver must remain in the building and stay on-site for the entire duration of the procedure.