What is colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a colonoscope or scope, lớn look inside your rectum and colon. Colonoscopy can show irritated & swollen tissue, ulcers, polyps, & cancer.

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How is virtual colonoscopy different from colonoscopy?

Virtual colonoscopy & colonoscopy are different in several ways:

With virtual colonoscopy, your doctor doesn’t view the entire length of your colon. Virtual colonoscopy may not find certain polyps as easily as a colonoscopy can. Doctors can’t remove sầu polyps or treat certain other problems during a virtual colonoscopy. Your health insurance coverage may be different for the two procedures.

Why bởi doctors use colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy can help a doctor find the cause of symptoms, such as

unexplained weight loss

Doctors also use colonoscopy as a screening tool for colon polyps và cancer. Screening is testing for diseases when you have no symptoms. Screening may find diseases at an early stage, when a doctor has a better chance of curing the disease.

Screening for Colon và Rectal Cancer

Your doctor will recommend screening for colon and rectal cancer —also called colorectal cancer—starting at age 45 if you don’t have sầu health problems or risk factors that make you more likely lớn develop colon cancer.1

You have risk factors for colorectal cancer if you2

are male are African American or someone in your family has had polyps or colorectal cancer

If you are more likely lớn develop colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommover screening at a younger age, and more often.

If you are older than age 75, talk with your doctor about whether you should be screened. For more information, read the current colorectal cancer screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Government health insurance plans, such as Medicare, & private insurance plans sometimes change whether & how often they pay for cancer screening tests. Cheông chồng with your insurance plan khổng lồ find out how often your plan will cover a screening colonoscopy.

How bởi I prepare for a colonoscopy?

To prepare for a colonoscopy, you will need to talk with your doctor, change your diet for a few days, clean out your bowel, & arrange for a ride home after the procedure.

Talk with your doctor

You should talk with your doctor about any health problems you have and all prescribed & over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, và supplements you take, including

vitamins that contain iron or iron supplements

Change your diet & clean out your bowel

A health care professional will give sầu you written bowel prep instructions to lớn follow at trang chính before the procedure so that little or no stool remains in your intestine. A complete bowel prep lets you pass stool that is clear và liquid. Stool inside your intestine can prevent your doctor from clearly seeing the lining.

You may need lớn follow a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the procedure. You should avoid red and purple-colored drinks or gelatin. The instructions will include details about when to lớn start và stop the clear liquid diet. In most cases, you may drink or eat the following:

fat-miễn phí bouillon or broth gelatin in flavors such as letháng, lime, or orange plain coffee or tea, without cream or milk sports drinks in flavors such as letháng, lime, or orange strained fruit juice, such as táo or white grape—avoid orange juice water

Different bowel preps may contain different combinations of laxatives—pills that you swallow or powders that you dissolve sầu in water or clear liquids. Some people will need khổng lồ drink a large amount, often a gallon, of liquid laxative over a scheduled amount of time—most often the night before and the morning of the procedure. Your doctor may also prescribe an enema.

The bowel prep will cause diarrhea, so you should stay cthua thảm to lớn a bathroom. You may find this part of the bowel prep hard; however, finishing the prep is very important. gọi a health care professional if you have side effects that keep you from finishing the prep.

Your doctor will tell you how long before the procedure you should have sầu nothing by mouth.

The instructions will include detailsabout when khổng lồ start & stop the clear liquid diet.

Arrange for a ride home

For safety reasons, you can’t drive sầu for 24 hours after the procedure, as the sedatives or anesthesia need time khổng lồ wear off. You will need to lớn make plans for getting a ride trang chính after the procedure.

How bởi vì doctors persize a colonoscopy?

A doctor performs a colonoscopy in a hospital or an outpatient center. A colonoscopy usually takes 30 khổng lồ 60 minutes.

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A health care professional will place an intravenous (IV) needle in a vein in your arm or h& lớn give you sedatives, anesthesia, or pain medicine, so you won’t be aware or feel pain during the procedure. The health care staff will check your vital signs & keep you as comfortable as possible.

For the procedure, you’ll lie on a table while the doctor inserts a colonoscope through your anus và inlớn your rectum và colon. The scope inflates your large intestine with air for a better view. The camera sends a Clip image to lớn a monitor, allowing the doctor to lớn examine your large intestine.

The doctor may move you several times on the table khổng lồ adjust the scope for better viewing. Once the scope reaches the opening khổng lồ your small intestine, the doctor slowly removes the scope và examines the lining of your large intestine again.

For the procedure, you will lie on a table while the doctorinserts a colonoscope through your anus và into your rectum và colon.

During the procedure, the doctor may remove sầu polyps và will skết thúc them to a lab for testing. You will not feel the polyp removal. Colon polyps are common in adults và are harmless in most cases. However, most colon cancer begins as a polyp, so removing polyps early helps to lớn prsự kiện cancer.

If your doctor finds abnormal tissue, he or she may perform a biopsy. You won’t feel the biopsy.

What should I expect after a colonoscopy?

After a colonoscopy, you can expect the following:

The anesthesia takes time to lớn wear off completely. You’ll stay at the hospital or outpatient center for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure. After the procedure, you—or a friend or family member—will receive instructions on how to care for yourself after the procedure. You should follow all instructions. You’ll need your pre-arranged ride home page, since you won’t be able to lớn drive after the procedure. You should expect a full recovery và return khổng lồ your normal diet by the next day.

After the sedatives or anesthesia wear off, your doctor may nói qua what was found during the procedure with you or, if you choose, with a frikết thúc or family thành viên.

If the doctor removed polyps or performed a biopsy, you may have light bleeding from your anus. This bleeding is normal. A pathologist will examine the biopsy tissue, & results take a few days or longer to come baông chồng. A health care professional will hotline you or schedule an appointment to lớn go over the results.

After the procedure, you—or a friover or family member—will receive sầu instructionson how to lớn care for yourself after the procedure. You should follow all instructions.

What are the risks of colonoscopy?

The risks of colonoscopy include

bleeding a reaction khổng lồ the sedative sầu, including breathing or heart problems severe pain in your abdomen death, although this risk is rare

A study of screening colonoscopies found roughly 4 to 8 serious complications for every 10,000 procedures.3

Bleeding và perforation are the most comtháng complications from colonoscopy. Most cases of bleeding occur in patients who have sầu polyps removed. The doctor can treat bleeding that happens during the colonoscopy right away.

You may have delayed bleeding up to 2 weeks after the procedure. The doctor can diagnose and treat delayed bleeding with a repeat colonoscopy. The doctor may need khổng lồ treat perforation with surgery.

Seek Care Right Away

If you have any of the following symptoms after a colonoscopy, seek medical care right away:

severe pain in your abdomen fever bleeding from the anus that does not stop dizziness weakness


<1> Colorectal Cancer: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Updated May 18, 2021. Accessed May 25, 2021. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/colorectal-cancer-screening#fullrecommendationstart

<3> Lin JS, Piper MA, Perdue LA, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer: updated evidence report and systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2016;315(23):2576–2594.

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