All patients having a colonoscopy must bring one responsible companion. This person will stay in the waiting room and drive you home. If you cannot arrange for a companion, the procedure may need to be rescheduled.
A nurse will bring you to the pre-procedure area to take your blood pressure and pulse rate, ask questions about your medical history, including any allergies to medications, and answer any questions you may have. You will be asked to remove your clothing
and put on a hospital gown. Please read the consent form and sign it. This authorizes the doctor to perform the procedure.
An intravenous line, or IV, will be inserted now for medicines that are often given during the procedure. These will include sedatives that will help you feel comfortable and relaxed.
You will be moved to a procedure room. Usually a colonoscopy is done with the patient on the left side. Your vital signs will be checked throughout the procedure and oxygen will be administered.
A colonoscopy is usually well tolerated and rarely causes much pain. The lubricated flexible colonoscope will be gently introduced into your rectum. It may cause feelings of pressure, bloating or cramping during the procedure. This is due to air inserted
into the colon through the instrument. To ease the passage of the colonoscope, you may need to change position or have gentle pressure applied to your abdomen. A biopsy (sample of the colon lining) may be taken for microscopic examination. Colon polyps
can be biopsied or removed entirely. You will not feel any sensation or discomfort during a biopsy or polyp removal.
The examination usually takes 20 to 40 minutes.