Has your doctor recommended a colonoscopy? This procedure is used as both a screening tool for colon cancer and as a diagnostic tool for conditions like diverticulitis.
In this safe procedure, the doctor uses a small, flexible tube with a light and miniature camera to look inside the colon. If necessary, material is collected for biopsy and potentially precancerous polyps can be removed and evaluated. Colonoscopy can also be used for surveillance after colon surgery.
Before the Procedure
Preparation for colonoscopy begins 1-2 days before the procedure. Your doctor will prescribe a diet of clear liquids and special cleansing solutions and laxatives. Emptying the colon gives the doctor a better view.
It’s important to talk with your doctor about existing medical conditions—especially diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease—before the colonoscopy. You should also review the medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements you take. Some substances need to be discontinued during preparation for a colonoscopy.
During the Procedure
A colonoscopy is painless because you are sedated with intravenous medications. You will either be asleep or very relaxed. The procedure itself takes about an hour, but you need up to three hours for preparation, procedure and recovery. You should arrange for someone to drive you home and expect to be drowsy for the rest of the day.
After the Procedure
When you awake after the procedure, your doctor will explain the results of the exam. Jefferson Surgical Clinic will contact you with the results of any biopsies when they are available.
The colonoscopy is a safe and common procedure, but in rare occasions, injury to the colon can occur. There may also be some bleeding from polyp removal. If you experience any abdominal pain, fever, dizziness or blood in your stool in the weeks after the procedure, you should contact us right away.
Scheduling your Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is the best method for detecting and diagnosing colorectal problems. It is a routinely recommended screening procedure for adults 50 and over. The doctors at the Jefferson Surgical Clinic provide exceptional colon care, including colonoscopy, for patients throughout the Roanoke, Virginia area.
To schedule a colonoscopy consultation with Jefferson Surgical Clinic, call (540) 283-6000.