A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your surgeon to examine the entire length of your colon and rectum using a thin, tube-shaped instrument. A colonoscopy can diagnose certain abnormalities, and the instrument used to conduct the examination can also remove growths including polyps.
Who Needs a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies are regularly performed on patients older than 50 as part of a colon cancer screening program. Colonoscopies might also be recommended for younger patients who have medical concerns that could be tied to diseases or disorders affecting the colon.
How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy
You will get specific instructions regarding cleansing the bowel in anticipation of the colonoscopy examination. It is very important that the instructions be followed as outlined in order to ensure a well-prepared colon.
Your goal should be to get your colon as clean as possible before you go in for your colonoscopy.
Please bring a list of medications you currently take, including the dosage of these drugs, and inform your physician of any allergies you have to medications. If you are taking aspirin, coumadin or blood thinners, please notify your doctor as the use of these drugs may need to be modified or discontinued temporarily.
Click below to view or download two documents about preparing for your colonoscopy:
What to Expect on the Day of Your Colonoscopy
The surgeons at Novant Health Charlotte Colon & Rectal Surgery perform colonscopy procedures at Novant Health Midtown Outpatient Surgery Center and in the endoscopy department at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center. You will be asked to arrive an hour and a half to two hours before your scheduled procedure.
The colonscopy procedure will take 30 to 45 minutes. You will spend another 45 minutes or more in the recovery room. A companion must accompany you to the examination. Since you will be given medications to sedate you during the procedure, you will need someone to take you home. Driving an automobile is not allowed after the procedure; even though you may not feel tired, your judgment and reflexes may not be normal.
You will be able to eat normally as soon as you leave. You can expect to return to work the day after your procedure.