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Blanchard Valley Surgical Specialists

Colonoscopy

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What is a colonoscopy?
It is the visual examination of the colon (large bowel) using a flexible scope that transmits images onto a video screen. The scope has the thickness of a finger and is inserted into the anus and advanced slowly through the colon (5-6 feet) while examining the lining carefully. The patient is usually sedated and seldom remembers the exam. Encountered polyps are removed and tissue samples (biopsy) could be taken if any abnormal changes are seen. Procedure takes 15-30 minutes, followed by a period of recovery. It is common to experience some abdominal pressure and cramping following the procedure. Symptoms usually subside in about an hour.

Who should have a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard for colon evaluation (best test). Other tests such as Barium enema and virtual colonoscopy are available.
  • People over age of 50 or >40 if there is colon cancer history in the family
  • Check unexplained abdominal symptoms
  • Colon cancer history
  • Polyps history
  • Colitis history
  • Diverticulitis history
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding history (obvious or hidden blood)
  • Abnormal x-rays
  • Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation)
  • Anemia (low blood count)

How to prepare for tests?
The key to a successful exam is having a clean colon. Patient will receive separate list of instructions. Please follow the instructions closely. No solid food the day before the procedure, clear liquids are allowed. Drink plenty of water in addition to the solution (prep). Patient may take his/her medications the day before the procedure as usual. The only exceptions are blood thinners, such as, Coumadin, heparin, Lovenox, aspirin products, ibuprofen products, arthritis medications, vitamin E and herbal blood thinners. The instructions sheet will tell you when to stop taking these medications prior to the procedure.

* Please arrange for a ride home after the procedure.
* Please alert us if you require any antibiotics prior to dental work.

How do I know what the test showed?
a) Findings will be shared with the patient's family members after the procedure unless instructed otherwise prior to the procedure.
b) A follow-up visit with the physician or physician assistant to discuss findings are answer any questions is possible. Pathology results on biopsies or polyps are available in 3-7 days.

Risks & Benefits
Colonoscopy is a safe procedure but does have risks. Please be sure to read the informed consent section on risks and benefits.

Summary
Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure. It is done under sedation. Test is best if colon is clean. It is a safe procedure, serious complications are rare. We hope you have an uneventful procedure & recovery. Please contact our office at 419-423-0424 if you have any questions.