Michael G. Stiff, M.D.

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Colonoscopy is a test used to look inside the colon (large intestine). It checks for problems like bleeding, growths, diarrhea or colon cancer. A long, bendable scope is used for the test. It is passed through the anus into the rectum and colon. The scope sends a picture of the inside of your colon to a TV screen. Tools can be passed through the end of the scope. They can be used to stop bleeding or take a sample of the tissue, or remove polyps. 

CLICK HERE for ST. ANN'S HOSPITAL Colonoscopy Prep Instructions.


What happens during a colonoscopy?

   
- You will lie on your left side after monitors of blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen have been applied.
   - You will be given some medicine. This will help you relax and reduce pain.
    - The doctor will insert the scope into your rectum and slowly move it through the colon.
   - The scope will also blow air into your colon. This opens the colon so the doctor can see. You may feel pressure from the air.
   - The doctor may take a small piece of tissue for testing or may remove a polyp.
   - The test takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

How do I prepare for my colonoscopy?

   
- Make a list of all your medications and allergies. Take this with you to the endoscopy lab.
   - Your colon must be empty for the test. Follow your doctor's orders on what to do.
   - You might have to follow a special diet on the day preceding your test.
   - You might have to take a special laxative to clean out your colon. Call the office if you are a kidney dialysis patient or you have severe heart disease, heart failure, or problems with low potassium.
   - You will need someone to drive you home after the test, because the drugs given during the exam will impair you.