A colonoscopy is for the purpose of examining your colon (large intestine) and if applicable, removing a polyp or polyps.
WHAT OCCURS DURING THE EXAMINATION?
The colonoscopic examination is done by inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube (colonoscope) into the rectum and beyond. In many cases, the instrument can be inserted throughout the entire extent of the large intestine, permitting a complete examination. Abdominal cramps are usually experienced by the patient during the course of the examination. However, you will be sedated with medications which help the cramps. Be sure and express any allergies to any medications.
WHAT IS A POLYP?
A polyp is a growth that is attached to the inside of the colon. Most of these growths are benign but their removal is strongly recommended so that the polyp may be examined under the microscope, permitting an exact diagnosis to be made. In addition, benign polyps at times may become malignant with the passage of time. Therefore, we believe they should be removed. At times, a polyp is discovered unexpectedly during the course of a colonoscopic examination which is being done for other reasons. We recommend that all patients give us permission ahead of time to remove polyps if they are discovered.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A POLYP IS DISCOVERED?
If a polyp is discovered, a thin snare wire is passed through the colonoscope and the polyp is encircled. The snare is tightened and an electric current is passed through the wire which cuts off the polyp. The polyp is then brought out of the colon and send to the pathologist for further examination.
ARE THERE ANY POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?
The possible complications of colonoscopy and polypectomy (polyp removal) include perforation (rupture) of colon, hemorrhage from the colon and side effects due to sedatives which are given. In very rare circumstances, death could result from a complication. However, we have had no serious complications from this procedure, and absolutely no deaths.
- You should not use aspirin for three (3) days before the exam and certain arthritis medications may predispose you to bleeding. Please review all medications with your doctor.
- Because of the use of sedation, it is necessary that you plan to have someone else come with you and drive you home. We also recommend that you don't drive for 24 hours after the procedure.
- Arrive promptly to your appointment. Late arrival may necessitate cancellation of your appointment.
- Bring your clinic card, courtesy card, insurance card or Medicaid card with you. If you do not have insurance or other financial coverage, you will need to make financial arrangements ahead of time in our Business Office before the day of your exam.
- If you have any questions you can contact our office