Colonoscopy Patient Information from SAGES

What Is A Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your surgeon to examine the lining of the rectum and colon. It is usually done in the hospital or an endoscopic procedure room. A soft, bendable tube about the thickness of the index finger is gently inserted into the anus and advanced into the rectum and the colon.

Why Is A Colonoscopy Performed?

A colonoscopy is usually done 1) as part of a routine screening for cancer, 2) in patients with known polyps or previous polyp removal, 3) before or after some surgeries, 4) to evaluate a change in bowel habits or bleeding or 5) to evaluate changes in the lining of the colon known as inflammatory disorders.

What Preparation Is Required?

The rectum and colon must be completely emptied of stool for the procedure to be performed. In general, preparation consists of consumption of a special cleansing solution or several days of clear liquids, laxatives and enemas prior to the examination. Your surgeon or his staff will give you instructions regarding the cleansing routine to be used.

Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully. If you do not complete the preparation, it may be unsafe to perform the colonoscopy and the procedure may have to be rescheduled. If you are unable to take the preparation, contact your surgeon.

Most medications can be continued as usual. Medication use such as aspirin, Vitamin E, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, blood thinners and insulin should be discussed with your surgeon prior to the examination as well as any other medication you might be taking. It is essential that you alert your surgeon if you require antibiotics prior to undergoing dental procedures, since you may also require antibiotics prior to colonoscopy.

You will most likely be sedated during the procedure and an arrangement to have someone drive you home afterward is imperative. Sedatives will affect your judgment and reflexes for the rest of the day. You should not drive or operate machinery until the next day.

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Brought to you by:

SOCIETY OF AMERICAN GASTROINTESTINAL ENDOSCOPIC SURGEONS (SAGES)
11300 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel:
(310) 437-0544
Fax:
(310) 437-0585
E-Mail:
publications@sages.org
This brochure is intended to provide a general overview of a surgery. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical care or a discussion between you and your surgeon about the need for a surgery. Specific recommendations may vary among health care professionals. If you have a question about your need for a surgery, your alternatives, billing or insurance coverage, or your surgeons training and experience, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or his/her office staff about it. If you have questions about the operation or subsequent follow up, discuss them with your surgeon before or after the operation.