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A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows your doctor to visually examine the inside of the colon for irregularities. This is accomplished by inserting a tube with a camera on the end into the rectum and through the colon. The images from the camera are viewed either through the instrument or on a display monitor.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A COLONOSCOPY?
A colonoscopy can be performed to investigate irregularities found on an X-ray or CT scan, abdominal pain, or blood in the stool. They are also performed regularly for people at an increased risk of developing polyps or colon cancer, such as those over the age of 50.
Preparing for YOUR colonoscopy
The colon must be completely clean to achieve accurate results from a colonoscopy. Patients are usually given a special cleansing solution to drink before the exam, or may be asked to consume only a clear liquid diet with laxatives or enemas. Most medications can still be taken, although some may require special instructions, such as aspirin or blood thinners. Dr. Prokupek will instruct you on exactly how to prepare for your colonoscopy.
Before the colonoscopy, an IV is inserted, and medication is given to make the patient relaxed and sleepy. The heart, blood pressure, and oxygen levels are monitored throughout the procedure. During the colonoscopy, the patient lies on their left side or back as the colonoscope is slowly inserted, until it reaches all the way to the tip of the colon.. The procedure takes about 15-60 minutes. A biopsy may be taken during the procedure if an area needs to be examined further.
After the procedure, patients will be kept under observation for about an hour or two, until the medication wears off. Reflexes and judgment may be impaired for the rest of the day. Some cramping or bloating may be experienced, but should be relieved quickly. Eating and other normal activities can resume immediately.
Complications from colonoscopy
Complications from colonoscopy are rare, and are usually minor. The procedure is very safe when performed by a trained and experienced professional, such as Dr. Prokupek. If they do occur, complications can include bleeding from the site of the biopsy, perforation of the bowel wall, or reactions to the IV medication.