Colonoscopy (coe-lon-AH-skapy) is an endoscopy procedure that is performed by Dr. Smith and is used to detect
abnormalities in the colon (large intestine).
The procedure is recommended every 10 years for all persons over age 50 and those who have had a family history of colon cancer, or a personal history of colon polyps, rectal bleeding or long-standing inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis. People with a family history of colon cancer or any of the diseases listed may need the test more often.
For the procedure, you will lie on your left side on the examining table. You will probably be given pain medication and a mild sedative to keep you comfortable and to help you relax during the exam. The physician will insert a long, flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The tube is called a colonoscope. The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon. The scope bends, so the physician can move it around the curves of your colon. You may be asked to change position occasionally to help the physician move the scope. The scope also blows air into your colon, which inflates the colon and helps the physician see better.
If anything abnormal is seen in your colon, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, the 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.
The colonoscopy itself 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, or maybe longer. Plan for being there for at least 3 to 4 hours.
For procedure information, see also:
YOUR PROCEDURE WILL BE PERFORMED AT ONE OF THESE THREE FACILITIES:
Athens Endoscopy, LLC: Report directly to suite 2 of the same building as Athens Gastroenterology Center, PC. The main number for Athens Endoscopy, LLC is (706) 433-0788.
Athens Regional Medical Center: Report directly to the Endoscopy Department in the Talmadge Tower II, second floor. Park in the Parking Garage across from the Talmadge Tower II. You will register in the Endoscopy Department. The main number for Athens Regional is (706) 475-7000.
St. Mary's Hospital: Park in the Parking Deck off of Baxter Street. Report directly to Outpatient Registration near the Emergency Room. You will register there, and will be escorted to the Endoscopy Department. The main number for St. Mary's is (706) 354-3000.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (706) 548-0058. If you have specific questions about the hospital where the procedure is to be performed, please call the hospital directly.
This information from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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