Table of Contents
- What is colonoscopy?
- Why is colonoscopy done?
- What bowel preparation is needed for colonoscopy?
- What about current medications or diet before colonoscopy?
- What should I expect during colonoscopy?
- What if there are abnormalities detected during colonoscopy?
- What should I expect post colonoscopy?
- What are the possible complications or alternatives to colonoscopy?
- What is virtual colonoscopy?
- What's new in colonoscopy?
- What's new in colonoscopy? (Continued)
Quick GuideDigestive Disease Myths Pictures Slideshow: Common Misconceptions
What should I expect during colonoscopy?
Prior to colonoscopy, intravenous fluids are started, and the patient is placed on a monitor for continuous monitoring of heart rhythm and blood pressure as well as oxygen in the blood. Medications (sedatives) usually are given through an intravenous line so the patient becomes sleepy and relaxed, and to reduce pain. If needed, the patient may receive additional doses of medication during the procedure. Colonoscopy often produces a feeling of pressure, cramping, and bloating in the abdomen; however, with the aid of medications, it is generally well-tolerated and infrequently causes severe pain.
Patients will lie on their left side or back as the colonoscope is slowly advanced. Once the tip of the colon (cecum) or the last portion of the small intestine (terminal ileum) is reached, the colonoscope is slowly withdrawn, and the lining of the colon is carefully examined. Colonoscopy usually takes 15 to 60 minutes. If the entire colon, for some reason, cannot be visualized, the physician may decide to try colonoscopy again at a later date with or without a different bowel preparation or may decide to order an X-ray or CT of the colon. Continue Reading
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