Reasons to Perform Colonoscopy





Patient Information on Colonoscopy


Direct visual examination of the colon, ileocecal valve, and portions of the terminal ileum by means of a fiberoptic endoscope. Colonoscopy is best performed by a board certified gastroenterology specialist in a specialized endoscopy suite (occasionally may be carried out at the bedside in an intensive care unit). With the patient awake but sedated, a flexible endoscope is inserted into the rectum and advanced through the various portions of the lower GI tract. Important anatomic landmarks are identified and mucosal surfaces are examined for ulcerations, polyps, friable areas, hemorrhagic sites, neoplasms, strictures, etc. Minor operative procedures may then be performed utilizing the standard colonoscope with appropriate accessories. These procedures include tissue biopsy for histopathology and/or microbiologic culture, polypectomy, electrocoagulation of bleeding sites, removal of foreign bodies, hot biopsy/fulguration of tumor, and others.


What do I need to do to prepare for the colonoscopy?

The colon cleansing preparation is very important for you to get an optimal result.  If the colon is poorly prepared then important findings such as cancer or precancerous tumors might be missed.  The preparation involves dietary restriction to only clear liquids for most or all of the day prior to the exam in addition to taking a large volume bowel cleansing preparation that is usually divided into two doses.  It is important to comply with all the instructions for this to be effective.  You should also receive special guidance in regards to certain medications you may be taking; e.g if you are on blood thinning agents you may or may not be advised to hold this several days prior to the procedure.