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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What do I need to know about a colonoscopy?

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.

What do I need to do the week before my colonoscopy?

Give your healthcare provider a list of all the medicines, supplements, and herbs you take. You will need to stop taking medicines that contain aspirin or iron for 7 days before your colonoscopy. If you take a blood thinner, such as warfarin, ask when you should stop taking it. Make plans for someone to drive you home after your procedure.

How do I prepare for my colonoscopy?

Your healthcare provider will have you prepare your bowels before your procedure. It is important for your bowels to be empty before your procedure to allow him or her to see your colon clearly. You will need to do the following:

What will happen during my colonoscopy?

What will happen after my colonoscopy?

You may feel bloated or have some gas and abdominal discomfort. You may need to lie on your left side with a heating pad on your abdomen. Eat small meals until your bloating has improved.

What are the risks of a colonoscopy?

You may have pain or bleeding. 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.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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