of Central Pennsylvania, PC
physician can remove all or part
of it using tiny instruments passed through the scope. That
tissue (biopsy) is then sent to a lab for testing. If there is bleeding in the colon, the
physician can pass a laser, heater probe, or electrical probe, or inject special medicines
through the scope and use it to stop the bleeding.
Bleeding and puncture of the colon are possible complications of colonoscopy. However,
such complications are uncommon.
Colonoscopy takes 30 to 60 minutes. The sedative and pain medicine should keep you
from feeling much discomfort during the exam. You will need to remain at the endoscopy
facility for 1 to 2 hours until the sedative wears off.
Your colon must be completely empty for the colonoscopy to be thorough and safe. To
prepare for the procedure you may have to follow a liquid diet for 1 to 3 days beforehand.
A liquid diet means fat-free bouillon or broth, strained fruit juice, water, plain coffee, plain
tea, or diet soda. Gelatin or popsicles in any color but red may also be eaten. You will also
take one of several types of laxatives the night before the procedure. Also, you must
arrange for someone to take you home afterward--you will not be allowed to drive because
of the sedatives. Your physician may give you other special instructions. Inform your
physician of any medical conditions or medications that you take before the colonscopy.
Printable colonoscopy instructions