Is a test that has as a propose to detect changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum.
During a colonoscopy, a flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. This includes a tiny video camera at the top of the tube and allows the doctor to view/ evaluate the inside of the entire colon.
If necessary, polyps or other types of abnormal tissue can be removed through the scope during the procedure. Biopsies can be taken during a colonoscopy, usually Dr. will notify you any findings right after procedure is finalized.
A colonoscopy typically takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
Why Patients Need to Have it Done
Your PCP or Primary care physician may recommend a colonoscopy to:
- Obtain adequate information of any intestinal signs and symptoms that you may experience. Test can help explore and understand possible causes of your intestinal symptoms or problems.
- Screening for colon cancer
- Patients who had history of polyps removed in prior colonoscopies will be recommended by your GI doctor to repeat a colonoscopy periodically in order to reduce risk of colon cancer
What You Can Expect
- It is necessary to have someone to take you home after the procedure because it can take 6-8 hours or up to a day for the anesthetic to be completely metabolized by the body. You are not going to be able to drive or work for the rest of the day.
- If samples or polyp are removed during your colonoscopy, you may feel bloated or pass gas for a few hours after the exam, as you clear the air from your colon
- Small amount of blood with your first bowel movement is common after the procedure
- Consult your doctor in case that you experience:
- -Fever of 100 F
- -Clots or active bleeding persist after
- -Abdominal Pain
Procedures is considered negative or normal if no abnormalities are present inside of the colon. Usually on this cases physician may recommend repeat colonoscopy in 10 years.
A colonoscopy is considered positive if the doctor finds any polyps or abnormal tissue in the colon (inflammation or lesions).
Most polyps aren't cancerous, but some can be precancerous. Polyps removed during colonoscopy are sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine whether they are cancerous, precancerous or noncancerous. Depending on the size and number of polyps, you may need to follow a more rigorous screening schedule in the future.
How to Prepare
Prior your colonoscopy, you will need to prepare your colon. Any residue in your colon may compromise the outcome of the test, reason why is crucial that patients prepare properly. Instructions that patients' needs to follow:
- Diet restrictions two days prior colonoscopy
- Take a laxative and/or prep
- Adjust your medications. Remind your doctor of your medications at least a week before the exam — especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems or if you take medications or supplements that contain iron.
Important to mention your doctor if you take any kind of medications that thin the blood, such as Aspirin, Coumadin newer anticoagulants, such as Pradaxa Plavix or Xarelto, commonly used to reduce risk of blood clots or stroke.
You may need to adjust your dosages or stop taking the medications temporarily.
A colonoscopy as most of the surgical procedures poses few risks and complications.
Below you will se part of the most common complications of a colonoscopy:
- Adverse reaction to anesthetics that me be used during procedure
- Colon perforation