Preparing for a Colonoscopy
What is a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your surgeon to examine the lining of the colon and rectum. It is usually performed in an operation room or procedural room on an outpatient basis. A soft, bendable tube about the thickness of the index finger is gently inserted into the anus and advanced into the rectum and colon.
Why is a Colonoscopy performed?
Colonoscopy is performed for several possible reasons:
- As part of routine screening for cancer,
- In patients with known polyps or previous polyp removal,
- Before or after some surgeries,
- To evaluate a change in bowel habits or bleeding or,
- To evaluate changes in the lining of the colon known as inflammatory disorders.
About the Procedure
What preparation is required?
The rectum and colon must be completely emptied of stool for the procedure to be performed. In general, preparation consists of consumption of a special cleansing solution or several days of clear liquids, laxatives and enemas prior to the procedure. Detailed instructions may be downloaded here.
Follow your surgeon's instructions carefully. If you do not complete the preparation, it may be unsafe to perform the colonoscopy and the procedure may have to be rescheduled. If you are unable to take the preparation, please contact your surgeon.