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Colonoscopy

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A colonoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your colon (intestine) with a scope. A scope is a flexible tube with a small light and camera on the end. Polyps or tissue growths may be removed during your colonoscopy.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • You may have pain or bleeding from the scope or polyp removal. You may also have a slow heartbeat, decreased blood pressure, or increased sweating. Your colon may tear due to the increased pressure from the scope and other instruments. This may cause bowel contents to leak out of your colon and into your abdomen. If this happens, you will need to stay in the hospital and have surgery on your colon.

  • Without this procedure, your symptoms may get worse. You may have problems eating, digesting food, or having bowel movements. This may lead to other serious medical problems, such as blockage of your colon. Polyps that are not removed may develop into cancer.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

During your procedure:

  • You will be given medicine to help you relax. You will lie on your left side and raise one or both knees toward your chest. Your healthcare provider will examine your anus and use a finger to check your rectum. You may need another enema if your bowel is not empty. The scope will be lubricated and placed into your anus. It will then be passed through your rectum and into your colon. Water or air will be put into your colon to help clean or expand it. This is done so your healthcare provider can see your colon clearly.

  • Tissue samples may be taken from the walls of your bowel and sent to a lab for tests. If you have a polyp, your healthcare provider will pass a wire loop through the scope and use it to hold the polyp. The polyp is then burned or cut off the wall of your colon. Removed polyps are sent to a lab for tests. Pictures of your colon may be taken during the procedure. The scope will be removed when the procedure is done.

After your procedure:

You may pass gas after your procedure. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Colonoscopy (Inpatient Care)

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