Here is what you need to know about the prep, the procedure and the aftercare.
What is colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows the gastroenterologist to examine the inside walls of your large intestine. The colonoscope is a long tube with a small camera attached to its end. That tube is inserted slowly by the anus until the last part of the colon, allowing the doctor to observe the bowel in its entirety. The procedure can last from 15 to 60 minutes.
During the procedure, the doctor can request the collection of tissue samples, or biopsies, for further investigation.
Why would my doctor recommend a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies can be used to investigate symptoms of bowel dysfunctions such as ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases, and also to determine the presence of small tissue growths known as polyps.
How should I prepare for a colonoscopy?
For the success of a colonoscopy, it is essential that there are no contents inside your intestine because it facilitates the visualization of its lining. Therefore, it’s very likely that your doctor will recommend diet restrictions like fasting for a certain amount of time or avoiding solid foods for a few days before the procedure.
You will be required to perform enemas to make sure to eliminate any residues from your bowel, and you may be asked to ingest laxatives. Naturally, your specialist will guide you step by step to make sure you perform a proper preparation, guaranteeing a successful examination.
How painful is the procedure?
For most people, the main concern surrounding colonoscopies is how much pain and discomfort they are going to endure during the procedure. Good news is that it's not as bad as it sounds.
You will receive mild sedation, so you will probably feel relaxed and comfortable. It is normal that you feel bloated during or even after the procedure, but that sensation will go away without the need for any intervention.
Are there any risks?
Colonoscopies are common and safe procedures. There is a small risk of bleeding and if you are taking any blood thinning medications, your doctor may evaluate your case and advise you accordingly.
What do I need to do after the procedure?
After the procedure, there might be slight discomfort or bloating that will lessen over time. There should not be any pain, and you will be allowed to get back to your regular diet right after the procedure.
Since you will be sedated for the procedure, we advise you to have someone with you that could get you home safely after the procedure is done.
Since preparation plays a significant role in the success of the colonoscopy procedure, it's crucial that you have a specialist that you can trust and a team of health professionals you can contact in case any concerns or doubts arise.
We have an attentive and experienced team of professionals that will guide you through the procedure and will be ready to address your main concerns.
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