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What can I expect during a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an effective examination used to look inside the entire colon and rectum. The exam is used for both diagnostic (determining the cause of colorectal problems) and screening (cancer prevention) purposes.

Before your scheduled colonoscopy, a surgical nurse from CCMH will call you to give you detailed instruction on how to prepare for your colonoscopy.

  • Because your colon needs to be empty, you will be given a laxative preparation ordered by your physician.
  • You will be given pain medication and a sedative prior to the exam.
  • You will lie on your left side during the exam.
  • The colonoscopy takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
  • If polyps or lesions are found, the physician will use devices in the scope to remove either some or all of the area for biopsy.
  • When the procedure is complete, you will stay in the recovery area for an appropriate amount of time before being released.
  • You will need someone else to drive you home.
  • You can expect to resume normal activities the day after your colonoscopy.
  • You can expect to have ongoing excellent care provided to you before, during and after the procedure from your CCMH surgeon and staff.