What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy enables our physicians to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine) for abnormalities by inserting a flexible tube as thick as your finger into your anus and slowly advances into the rectum and colon.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is well tolerated and rarely causes much pain.  You will lie on your side while our physician slowly advances a colonoscope through your large intestine to examine the lining.  Your doctor will examine the lining again as he slowly withdraws the colonoscopy.  The procedure usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, although you should plan on 1 1/2 h to 2 hours for waiting, preparation and recovery.

What is a biopsy?

If our physician thinks an area needs further evaluation, he will pass an instrument through the scope to obtain a biopsy (a sample of the colon lining) to be analyzed.  Biopsies are used to identify many conditions.  Our physician might also find polyps during your procedure and he will most likely remove them.

What are polyps and why remove them?

Polyps are abnormal growths in the colon lining that are usually benign (noncancerous).  They vary in size from a tiny dot to several inches.  Our physician can’t always tell a benign polyp from a malignant (cancerous) polyp by its outer appearance, so he will remove the polyp and send it out for further analysis.  Because cancer begins in polyps, removing them is an important means of preventing colorectal cancer.

What happens after a colonoscopy?

Our physician will explain the results of the procedure to you, although you’ll probably have to wait for the results of any biopsies taken.  Since you will be given a sedative during the procedure, someone must drive you home and stay with you.  Even if you feel alert, your judgement and reflexes could be impaired.  You might have some cramping or bloating because of air introduced into the colon.  This should disappear quickly when you pass gas.

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