What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure in which the inside of the large intestine (colon and rectum) is examined. A colonoscopy is commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms, such as rectal and intestinal bleeding, abdominal pain, or changes in bowel habits. Colonoscopies are also performed in individuals without symptoms to check for colorectal polyps or cancer. A screening colonoscopy is recommended for anyone 50 years of age and older, and for anyone with parents, siblings or children with a history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
What Happens Before a Colonoscopy?
To have a successful colonoscopy, your bowel must be empty so that your physician can clearly view the colon. To do this, it is very important to read and follow all of the instructions given to you at least 2 weeks BEFORE your exam. If your bowel is not empty, your
colonoscopy will not be successful and may have to be repeated.
What Happens During a Colonoscopy?
During a colonoscopy, an experienced physician uses a colonoscope (a long, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter) to view the lining of the colon. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and advanced through the large intestine. If necessary during a
colonoscopy, small amounts of tissue can be removed for analysis (a biopsy) and polyps can be identified and entirely removed. In many cases, a colonoscopy allows accurate diagnosis and treatment of colorectal problems without the need for a major operation.
Know what type of sedation your physician ordered: General Anesthesia versus Conscious Sedation.
General Anesthesia is managed by an anesthesiologist or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) and is performed on main campus in Q3 only.
Conscious Sedation is managed by the physician performing your procedure and is performed on main campus and Cleveland Clinic Health System regional facilities.