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Understanding Colonoscopy



Baptist Health Paducah offers patient information on what to expect during a colonoscopy.

The Purpose of Colonoscopy

After careful medical examination, your doctor may recommend that you have a colonoscopy. During this procedure, a lubricated, flexible scope is introduced in the rectum and passes through your large intestine. this procedure allows the doctor to examine your rectum, sigmoid, descending, transverse and ascending colon and cecum to identify any abnormalities. The procedure takes about 30-60 minutes.

About the Procedure

Prior to your procedure, you will be asked to sign a consent form authorizing the doctor to perform this procedure. Please let the doctor and the nurse know if you are allergic to any medications. Also bring a list of your current medications with you. An IV will be started in your arm. This will allow the doctor to administer the medication that will make you sleepy.

During the procedure, you will lie on your back or left side. As the doctor inserts the lubricated scope into your rectum, you may experience some gas or crampy feeling. Slow, deep breathing will help to ease this feeling. A tiny piece of tissue or polyps may be removed for microscopic examination.

After Your Colonoscopy

Many people do not recall the procedure because of the medication. You will probably be drowsy for a short time after the procedure. If this is an outpatient procedure, you will remain in the department for at least one hour after the procedure is completed.

The doctor will discuss the findings with you and your family members. You will be given written instructions for home care upon discharge.

Because you will receive sedation, it is very important that you arrange to have someone who can drive you home accompany you the day of the procedure. You must have a ride home or the procedure will not be done. Wait at least 24 hours after you have returned home to drive or operate any equipment, drink any alcoholic beverages, take any sleeping pills or sign any important documents. It is also advisable that you go home and nap following the procedure. You may want to eat when you get home.