What is a Colonoscopy?
A Colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the lining of your colon (large intestine).
Where and how is it performed?
A Colonoscopy can be performed at an ambulatory surgical center or at a hospital. The following information is indicated for the following ambulatory surgical centers ONLY: Endoscopy Center of the Rockies & Denver West Endoscopy Center. If you are scheduled for this procedure at a hospital, the instructions may be different. Please contact the specific hospital you are scheduled at for further inquiries on how a procedure is performed.
When you arrive at the Endoscopy Center of the Rockies or Denver West Endoscopy Center (30 minutes prior to your scheduled procedure), you will be asked to fill out paperwork in the waiting room. You will need to bring your current photo id & insurance card(s).
Once the paperwork is completed, you will be taken back into the endoscopy center where a technician will assist you. You will be asked to remove all your clothing and change into a gown. After you are done changing, the technician will assist you into a prep bay with a gurney and take your vital signs. A comprehensive medical history, including medications and allergies will be asked by a nurse. He/she will start your IV if you are undergoing sedation. Prior to your procedure you will have a chance to speak to the doctor. At that time, you will also sign a consent form with the doctor. This form indicates that you are aware of the potential associated risks while undergoing sedation & the procedure.
In the procedure room, while lying on your left side, the nurse will administer sedation medications. You will be monitored by vital machines and be given supplemental oxygen. A colonoscope will be inserted into your rectum, up into your colon (large intestine) until it reaches the cecum (end of the large intestine) to examine for abnormalities (polyps, diverticulum, hemorrhoids, etc). The procedure takes approximately 40 minutes. If abnormalities are found, a specimen is taken and sent to the laboratory for further investigation.
Following the procedure you will be wheeled into the recovery area for at least 30 minutes, where you will be monitored by staff members. After your recovery period, you will have restricted activities due to the sedation. You will need to have a ride to take you home and will not be able to drive for twenty four hours. It is also recommended that a responsible party stays with you for 6-8 hours following your procedure.
The doctor will speak to you following your procedure to discuss the results and potential follow-up. A nurse will go over discharge instructions with you, and you will also receive a report of the procedure that just occurred.
Why is this test performed?
This test is used but not limited to, investigation of inflammation, polyps, sites of bleeding, foreign objects, tumors, or any abnormal tissues/growths. It is also performed to help identify any issues caused by weight loss, iron deficiency, chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, black or tarry stools or bleeding from the rectum. A colonoscopy further accesses abnormal test results from a barium enema, stool test, or virtual colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can be utilized as a tool to monitor the prognosis of chronic diseases/disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel (IBD).
What is the difference between a Virtual Colonoscopy and a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is as indicated above. A virtual colonoscopy, utilizes a CT scan to examine for abnormalities. Neither sedation nor a scope is required for a virtual colonoscopy. A virtual colonoscopy may be a good option for patients who have a difficult time undergoing a colonoscopy due to a medical condition. The downfalls of a virtual colonoscopy however are patients still have to prep for the procedure. If an abnormality is found, a colonoscopy is then usually the next step to remove the abnormality. A virtual colonoscopy can also miss significant lesions. There is
Why is a colon cancer screen so important?
Colon Cancer Screeningis the NUMBER ONE way to prevent colon cancer.
What further exams can be done during a Colonoscopy?
Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC)
Colon Cancer Screening
Is sedation required?
While sedation is not required, it is highly recommended. Majority of patients undergo sedation. There are a very small percentage of individuals who undergo the procedure without sedation. If you have any questions regarding sedation, make sure to speak to your doctor the day of your procedure.
Do I need to prepare for this procedure?
If you are instructed to utilize the Colon Prep Center please call them at 1.800.349.0285 or visit them online at www.colonprepcenter.com.
If you are having your procedure performed at Endoscopy Center of the Rockies or Denver West Endoscopy Center and are NOT utilizing the Colon Prep Center, please consult the following for further instructions:
COLONOSCOPY GALLON INSTRUCTIONS
COLONOSCOPY HALF LYTELY INSTRUCTIONS
COLONOSCOPY GATORADE MIRALAX INSTRUCTIONS
COLONOSCOPY MOVIPREP INSTRUCTIONS
COLONOSCOPY SUPREP INSTRUCTIONS
COLONOSCOPY PREPOPIK INSTRUCTIONS
If you are having your procedure performed at the HOSPITAL, consult the following for further instructions:
COLONOSCOPY GALLON ANESTHESIA INSTRUCTIONS