Colonoscopy enables your doctor to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine) for abnormalities. Your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope, which has its own lens and light source, and will view the images on a video monitor. Please ask Dr. Bravo about anything you don't understand.

Common Questions and Answers:

Q: What preparation is required for a colonoscopy?
A: Your doctor will tell you what dietary restrictions to follow and what cleansing routine to use. In general, the preparation consists of either consuming a large volume of a special cleansing solution or clear liquids and special oral laxatives. The colon must be completely clean for the procedure to be accurate and complete, so be sure to follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Q: What happens during colonoscopy?
A: Colonoscopy is well-tolerated and rarely causes much pain. You might feel pressure, bloating or cramping during the procedure. Your doctor might give you a sedative to help you relax and better tolerate any discomfort. You will lie on your side or back while your doctor slowly advances a colonoscope through your large intestine to examine the lining. Your doctor will examine the lining again as he or she slowly withdraws the colonoscope. The procedure itself usually takes 15 to 60 minutes, although you should plan on two to three hours for waiting, preparation and recovery. In some cases, the doctor cannot pass the colonoscope through the entire colon to where it meets the small intestine. Although another examination might be needed, your doctor might decide that the limited examination is sufficient.

Q: What happens after a colonoscopy?
A: Your physician will explain the results of the examination to you, although you'll probably have to wait for the results of any biopsies performed. If you have been given sedatives during the procedure, someone must drive you home and stay with you. Even if you feel alert after the procedure, your judgment and reflexes could be impaired for the rest of the day. For safety reasons, you can not drive or operate vehicles, dangerous machineries, tools or appliances until the following day. You might have some cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. This should disappear quickly when you pass gas. You should be able to eat after the examination, but your doctor might restrict your diet and activities, especially after polypectomy.

  • DAY OF EXAM: administer half the morning dose of INSULIN at the usual time in the morning of the exam and then administer the second half of the insulin dose with a post-exam meal.
  • DAY OF EXAM: oral hypoglycemic agents (medications for diabetes) are withheld until you resume a normal diet.
  • Continue ALL other medications.

You need to have someone to drive you back home after the exam. Wear comfortable clothing