is a procedure in which the lining of the colon is inspected with a flexible instrument called a colonoscope. Your physician can visualize the lining on a television monitor while you are comfortably sedated and can use the finding of the procedure to help with diagnosis and treatment of a number of diseases affecting the colon.
WHAT IS A COLONOSCOPY?
Explained by Dr. Simon Cofrancesco
Excellence Is Our Speciality
Get more information today by reviewing the process of a colonoscopy screening.
The primary reason for a colonoscopy.
Is screening for colorectal cancer, the third most common cause of death in both men and women in the United States. It is preventable with a screening, known as a colonoscopy examination, and studies show that patients who undergo colonoscopy screenings are 90% less likely to die of colorectal cancer.
During a screening, your gastroenterologist carefully inspects the entire lining of the colon for polyps. Polyps are growths within the colon that may develop into cancer if not removed. Not all polyps are considered pre-cancerous, but they must be examined under a microscope to determine whether they are pre-cancerous or benign, so all polyps found are removed for examination.
Routine colonoscopy that looks for early signs of cancer should begin at age 50 for most people, and earlier if there is a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, or other risk factors. Dr. Cofrancesco or Dr. Quijano can advise you about how often to get a colonoscopy.
On the morning of the procedure.
You have an IV inserted at the endoscopy center and you will be given anesthesia to make the procedure comfortable. The anesthesia will be delivered by a certified registered nurse anesthetist, or CRNA. The procedure generally takes 30-45 minutes and then you awaken in the recovery room, where you’re allowed to have water before your departure. Your physician will discuss the result with you immediately after the procedure.
If polyps were removed or biopsies taken, you will be instructed to call the office in approximately one week for the biopsy results. You may return to normal activities and work the following day. Your referring doctor will be informed of the procedure findings once the final biopsy report is available. There should be no pain following the procedure.
Driving is not permitted for 24 hours after colonoscopy to allow the sedative time to wear off. Before the appointment, you should make plans for a ride home.
Colonoscopy Prep Instructions
The process for preparing for a colonoscopy is called a bowel prep. Generally, all solids must be emptied from the gastrointestinal tract by following a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the procedure.
To view Dr. Cofrancesco’s and Dr. Quijano’s specific bowel prep instructions, click here. To view Dr. Cofrancesco’s and Dr. Quijano’s “Do’s and Don’ts” for colonoscopy, click here. You should inform Dr. Cofrancesco or Dr. Quijano of all medical conditions and any medications, vitamins, or supplements taken regularly.
Your physician will discuss with you the risks and benefits of the the colonoscopy procedure before the procedure and will answer any questions.
A colonoscopy is a very safe procedure
As with any medical procedure, there are small risks involved. There is a rare (1 in 3,000) risk of a colon perforation (a puncture in the lining of the colon) which may require surgery to repair. Other rare risks include bleeding after a polyp was removed, and heart or lung complications following the anesthesia used for the procedure.