colonoscopy procedure

A Colonoscopy Procedure: Things You Should Know

Early detection of diseases can be detected through undergoing a colonoscopy, which can help in the prevention and aftercare necessary for your condition.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 25th Feb 2022.

A Colonoscopy Procedure: Things You Should Know

Early detection of diseases can be detected through undergoing a colonoscopy, which can help in the prevention and aftercare necessary for your condition. The procedure takes around 20 to 60 minutes. 

Colonoscopy: What to Know

Don’t be alarmed if your doctor suggests a colonoscopy. You may expect it to be a painful process, but it won’t be. Most likely, you won’t even remember it since you won’t be awake. (Most individuals regard the procedure’s preparation as the most challenging aspect.)

A colonoscopy is a procedure in which your doctor examines the interior of your large intestine to search for the source of symptoms such as stomach discomfort, rectal blood, or changes in bowel habits.

Colonoscopies are also used to prevent colorectal cancer, and they should begin around the age of 45. Polyps, or abnormal growths, may be removed during a colonoscopy before turning into cancers.

What Do I Do Before Exam?

Your doctor will want to know about any specific medical problems you may have before performing a colonoscopy, such as:

  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung problems
  • Heart problems
  • Medication allergies are a common occurrence.

Tell your doctor if you have diabetes or are taking any medications that may influence blood clotting. Before the surgery, they may need to adapt to these medicines.

How Do I Prepare?

A clean colon is required for a successful colonoscopy. That implies you must fast for at least 24 hours before the operation. Solid meals are generally off-limits; however clear liquids like:

  • Coffee
  • Broth
  • Water
  • Beverages for athletes

After that, you must empty your bowels. Your doctor would most likely ask you to take care of it in one of two ways:

  • Drink a laxative recommended by your doctor, most frequently polyethene glycol, to force you to go.
  • Enemas can be used in addition to the laxative.

They may advise you to do it the night before or the morning of your colonoscopy. Make sure you follow their instructions to the letter.

Make arrangements for someone to drive you home following the colonoscopy. You will be sedated, which means you will not be conscious throughout the operation. After that, you won’t be able to drive or operate equipment for at least 8 hours.

How Is a Colonoscopy Performed?

You’ll lay on your left side on an exam table for your colonoscopy. You’ll be given sedatives through an IV in your arm and put to sleep.

The doctor inserts a colonoscopy, a tube-like device, into your rectum during the operation. It’s approximately a half-inch long and a half-inch wide. It includes a light and a video camera on the tip, allowing the doctor to examine the lining of your colon and determine whether or not there is a problem.

A tube attached to the colonoscope allows your doctor to expand your colon by pumping air into it. This will enable them to see your colon and its lining more clearly.

Your doctor may use a small snare in the colonoscope to collect microscopic samples of your colon for examination during the inspection, which is known as a biopsy. They may also use it to remove polyps, which are abnormal growths.

What Happens After the Exam?

It should take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete the process. To recover from the sedative, you’ll spend 30 minutes to an hour in a recovery room.

You may have cramps or pass gas, which is typical. After leaving the doctor’s office, you may resume your regular eating routine.

Before you go, double-check that you understand the instructions. If your doctor performed a biopsy or removed any polyps, you may need to avoid certain medications for a day or two.

Bleeding and colon puncture are uncommon but potential complications during a colonoscopy. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately away:

  • Bleeding that is more than a little or that lasts an extended period.
  • Abdominal discomfort, fever, or chills are signs of a severe infection.


  2. American Cancer Society.
  3. Mayo Clinic, “Colonoscopy.”
  4. Harvard Health Publications, “Preparing for a colonoscopy.”

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