Colonoscopy Procedure Q&A
At Dr. Alfred Johnson, M.D. Gastrointestinal Surgeon, your comfort and care are our top priority. We can provide the colonoscopy you need to protect your health and help you get answers regarding your concerns. Contact us today or book in for an appointment – our colonoscopy doctors are ready and waiting to assist! We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341.
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A colonoscopy is an important medical procedure in which the inside of the large intestine (also known as the colon) is examined for any abnormalities. It’s an effective procedure for screening and/or diagnosing gastrointestinal diseases, such as colon cancer. It is usually recommended for adults once they reach middle age, though it may be administered earlier for those experiencing gastrointestinal issues or who have a history of gastro disease in their family.
A colonoscopy is a gastrointestinal exam used to look for abnormalities in the colon and rectum. These irregularities may include swollen tissue, scarring, polyps, or cancer.
During a colonoscopy, a long elastic tube known as a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum. This colonoscope has a tiny video camera at the end of it which allows the performing doctor to view the inside of the colon, giving them visual insight into the health of the large intestine. This scope can also be used to remove abnormal tissue (such as polyps) found in the colon and collect tissue samples if necessary.
The patient is typically sedated for this procedure to prevent discomfort while the doctor performs their examination.
A colonoscopy is an important part of safeguarding and healing a patient’s gastrointestinal health. This procedure can help your doctor identify the root cause of any intestinal distress that you may be experiencing and can also be used to help treat existing issues such as polyps. It’s also an extremely important screening tool for cancer, which is why the majority of doctors recommend getting a colonoscopy if you (1) have a history of bowel or colon cancer in your family or (2) are over the age of 45.
A few days prior to the colonoscopy, the patient will be asked to adjust their diet. The day before, they’ll be asked to drink a laxative formula to purge their bowels which will ensure the best imaging for the procedure.
During a colonoscopy, a sedative or anesthetic is usually administered to the patient before the procedure to prevent discomfort. Once that’s done, the doctor will ask the patient to lay on their side on the exam table with their knees drawn upwards towards their chest. The doctor will then gently insert the colonoscope into the rectum.
The colonoscope contains a small video camera on the tip which sends images to an external monitor so that the doctor has visual access to the inside of the colon. The scope can also pump air, water, or carbon dioxide into your colon to provide better imaging. The patient may experience some cramping or discomfort because of this.
The scope may also be used to take tissue samples from abnormal areas and/or remove polyps or irregular tissue.
The colonoscopy procedure itself takes about 30 to 60 minutes, although the prep time and dietary adjustment take a couple of days.
It depends. If no biopsy or additional testing is needed, and everything looks normal inside the intestine, your doctor will likely let you know your results right away. However, if you require a polyp to be removed or if a biopsy is required, it may take longer for your results to be delivered. This can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
If a sedative was provided for the procedure, the results may be provided in writing and/or discussed when the side effects have worn off.
Once the procedure is complete, you’ll be required to stay in recovery until it’s safe for you to go home. For most people, this is after the sedative they received wears off. Because it can take up to 24 hours for sedation to completely dissipate, it’s required for patients to have a ride home as they will not be able to drive.
It’s completely normal to feel gassy or bloated for a while after the procedure. However, that feeling should begin to subside 30-60 minutes following the procedure.
Your doctor will provide thorough aftercare instructions to ensure that your recovery is as seamless as possible.
Recovery is typically fast after a colonoscopy as most people do not experience any pain or discomfort during or after the procedure. After 24 hours, patients are usually back to their day-to-day activities.
At Dr. Alfred Johnson, M.D. Gastrointestinal Surgeon, our team is committed to providing the highest standard of care when it comes to addressing your gastrointestinal needs. Contact us today for more information about our services or book in for an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341. We serve patients from Merced CA, Atwater CA, Winton CA, Bear Creek CA, Planada CA, Le Grand CA, and Athlone CA.