Colonoscopy:  A Comprehensive Guide for You!


Have your doctor recommended you a colonoscopy? Fret not; the procedure is not such terrible as you would have imagined! Of course, a medical procedure like this or gastroscopy can be intimidating for someone who has never undertaken the test before. But, believe us, you will be relaxed when you get to know the specifics of this medical examination. To help you learn the procedure in detail along with the preparations required to succeed in the procedure, we have come up with this blog that enlists an overview of the test, why it’s done, how long it takes, and how to prepare yourself for it.

Now, without any ado, let’s delve into the overview of the visual examination of the colon.

What is a colonoscopy?

It is an outpatient procedure to evaluate the large intestine usually for gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or changes in bowel habits. It is done using a long, flexible instrument called a colonoscope that has a camera and the ability to remove tissue.

This procedure is extremely useful in detecting severe medical conditions like colorectal polyps or cancer. Since some people tend to avoid this test due to embarrassment or a reluctance to go through the preparation, the best medical care centers assures to maintain your privacy during the entire procedure.

According to healthcare experts, anyone who does not have risk factors for colorectal polyps or cancer should begin regular colonoscopy screenings at the age of 45. However, the frequency of colonoscopies may vary, depending on the findings. It’s always advisable to undertake a visual examination of the colon at a younger age if you have a higher risk of colon cancer.

Why colonoscopies are done?

A doctor recommends this medical examination of the colon to:

  • Evaluate Intestinal Symptoms: A visual test of the colon helps a doctor discover the possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea, and other intestinal issues.
  • Detect Colon Cancer: A doctor prescribes this medical procedure every 10 years if you’re age 45 or older & is prone to an average risk of colon cancer or have no colon cancer risk factors at all other than age. A doctor only recommends a sooner screening if you have other risk factors for colon cancer.
  • Treatment Purposes: Sometimes, this medical examination is done for placing a stent or removing an object from the colon.
  • Remove Additional Polyps: In case you had polyps before, your doctor may prescribe a follow-up colonoscopy test to examine & remove additional polyps. This acts effectively in reducing the risk of colon cancer.

How long does a colonoscopy take?

The procedure of visually examining the colon usually takes around 30 to 60 minutes. However, that excludes the time required by the patient for getting prepared for the test as well as the recovery period at the hospital or outpatient center. So, ideally, the overall time from the patient’s arrival for the test to departure ranges from 2 to 3 hours.

How to prepare for colonoscopies?

The first & most important thing to do while preparing for a gastroscopy or visual examination of the colon is to follow instructions prescribed by your doctor. The instructions generally include changing your diet for a few days before the procedure. Plus, you may even be asked to take a combination of laxatives to clean out your bowels the day before the test. The ultimate purpose of taking laxatives is to cause diarrhea and frequent trips to the bathroom. Following all these preps is essential as they will allow your doctor to have a clear view of your colon during the procedure.

Want to make the preparation easier for yourself? Get ready for it by stocking items like moist wipes, diaper creams, clear sodas, and low-fiber foods that you like to eat. Additionally, try to adjust your work schedule on the preparation days to the extent possible.

Furthermore, do not hesitate to talk with your doctor about your existing health problems and previous negative reactions to anesthesia. Also, inform your doctor about all the prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take on a regular basis. It’s really essential to open up to your doctor since all this information affects decisions about safely administering sedation or anesthesia during the colonoscopy procedure. It even helps in avoiding serious complications like bleeding from polyp removal. Apart from these, your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medications or supplements or to adjust their dosages in the days before the procedure.

Final Words

Hopefully, this blog helped you learn the most important things about colonoscopy. Fret not if you get light bleeding in your first bowel movement after the procedure. It usually happens due to the removal of polyps or tissue samples. Just ensure to consult with your doctor if the bleeding continues for a longer duration than usual or if you have persistent abdominal pain or a fever.


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