What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure used to assess the health of your colon. A colonoscope with a light and small camera on the end is inserted into the rectum, allowing your GI doctor
to view the inside of your colon or large intestine. Our colonoscopy doctors are board certified to assist with your gastrointestinal pains.
Why Do I Need A Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is most often used to detect early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It allows our Charleston GI physicians to look inside the entire large intestine for things such as:
- Inflamed tissue
- Abnormal growths (polyps)
- Open sores
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death for American men and women, but increased awareness and screening have caused a decline in the death rate. According to the American Cancer Center, when colorectal cancer is found early (before spreading), the five-year relative survival rate is around 90%.
This is further proof that screenings save lives. If you are over 45 years old or have a family history of colon cancer, call today to schedule your colonoscopy procedure!
Your Charleston GI colonoscopy can also be beneficial in diagnosing unexplained symptoms, including:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss
How To Prep For A Colonoscopy
An empty stomach allows for the best examination, so specific instructions will be provided to you prior to your visit. Our colonoscopy doctors will also prescribe a bowel prep kit, which is very important in the success of the procedure.
Please be sure to follow the instructions provided! These helpful hints may be included to help you prep for your colonoscopy:
- Stick to a clear liquid diet the day before your procedure.
- Drink the cleansing solution. (Note: Some physicians may recommend different prep solutions.)
- Stay hydrated during bowel prep with clear liquids, like water, apple or white grape juice, black coffee, tea, clear broths, etc.
- Do not eat or drink ANYTHING the morning of your colonoscopy.
- Notify your physician if you:
- Have a history of bleeding disorders
- Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
- Are taking any medications (both prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, etc)
What to Expect at Your Colonoscopy
The entire colonoscopy procedure, from the time you arrive until the moment you leave, should take 2 to 2.5 hours. Even though the visit is a short one, you should be prepared to take the day off from work – mainly because it can take up to a full day for the effects of the sedative and pain medication to wear off.
This medicine is administered before starting the procedure to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. If anything unusual is found during your colonoscopy, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, the physician can remove a piece of it using instruments inserted into the scope. The removed polyp is then sent to the lab for testing.
The procedure itself usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Most people don’t even remember experiencing the procedure at all!
Upon completion, we will roll you into a recovery area. After you are completely awake, the nurse will help you get dressed and the doctor will come out to speak to you and your driver. A report of your procedure will be sent to your primary care physician by your Charleston GI doctor.
*Note: Since you will be under sedation during the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home.
After Your Colonoscopy Procedure
You may feel some cramping or the sensation of having gas after the procedure, but these symptoms usually subside within an hour. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided. Again, even though the visit should take only about two hours, you need to be prepared to take the day off from work, due to the lingering effects of the medication.
Schedule Your Colonoscopy Today!
Charleston GI’s open access colonoscopy programs allows patients to easily schedule an appointment – no referral needed. By minimizing the hassle and cost, our goal at Charleston GI is to make colon cancer prevention a priority!
Get in touch with our colonoscopy doctors today to learn more or to schedule your appointment
! No referral needed!