Frequently Asked Questions About Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a common medical procedure that allows a doctor to examine the entirety of a patient's colon. It uses a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible tube with a camera on the end. This is inserted into the patient's rectum and guided along the path of the colon. It is done for diagnostic purposes as well as some treatment, such as the removal of colon polyps.

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What are sigmoidoscopy?

A sigmoidoscopy is a similar procedure to a colonoscopy, but it does not examine the entire course of the colon. It only examines the rectum and the bottom portion of the colon, called the sigmoid colon.

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How long does a colonoscopy take?

A colonoscopy can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending upon what is found and if polyps need to be removed.

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Is a colonoscopy painful?

Most patients report very little discomfort during a colonoscopy. This is due to the sedation or general anesthesia applied during the procedure. During the colonoscopy, air is pumped into the colon to give doctors a better view, and this can contribute to mild cramping following the procedure.

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When should I receive a colonoscopy?

As a general rule, it is recommended that patients receive their first colonoscopy at age 50. However, there may be factors that require patients to receive one earlier. There are risk factors associated with colorectal conditions, such as colorectal cancer. If these risk factors are present, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy before the age of 50.

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How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

As a primary preparation for a colonoscopy, patients must cleanse their bowels of all excrement. During the 1-3 days before the colonoscopy, patients will follow explicit instructions given to them by their gastroenterologist to ensure their bowels are prepared for the colonoscopy. This will be discussed in full with your doctor before you begin.

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What should I expect during a colonoscopy?

Yes. A colonoscopy can’t repair itself, and if you leave it untreated, you run the risk of dangerous illness and complicated surgery.

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What should I expect after the colonoscopy?

Our surgeons our frequently called upon to repair recurrent colonoscopys, when surgeries tried by other surgeons have failed. They have performed thousands of colonoscopy revision surgeries, many of them complex, and have an extremely high success rate, so that if you have colonoscopy surgery here, it is very unlikely that your colonoscopy will recur.

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