Colonoscopy     Colon%2520diag%2520colors.jpg (3809 bytes)

Colonoscopy is a diagnostic test to aid in diagnosing inflammatory and ulcerative bowel disease: GI Bleeding, Tumors, Polyps, Hemorrhoids, and Abscesses.

During a Colonoscopy, a flexible fiberoptic tube is passes through the rectum into the lower intestinal tract.

The colon (large intestine) extends from the cecum to the rectum.  It is approximately 59 inches long.  The colon aids in mixing intestinal contents, water absorption, and defecation of feces.

 

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Normal Colon:

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Diverticulum (TICS):  Sacs or pouches in the wall of the colon that extend outward.   Fecal material may settle in these distended sacs and cause inflammation.   This condition is called Diverticulosis.

 

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Hemorrhoids: Dilated blood vessels in the rectum or anus.  Hemorrhoids cause bleeding and some pain upon evacuation of feces.

 

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Polyp:   A growth or mass of tissue protruding from a mucous membrane.  Commonly found in the colon, nose, uterus, and bladder.  Polyps bleed easily and have the possibility of becoming malignant.  Polyps should be removed surgically:   Polypectomy

 

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Ulcerative Colitis:  Ulcers in the colon.  Ulcerative colitis usually starts in the rectum and often extends upward into the entire colon.  The cause is unknown.   Bloody diarrhea, pus, and mucous is common in the stools.  Prompt treatment and diagnosis is necessary.

 

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A Colonoscopy involves several steps before and during the procedure.

Colon Preparation:   Clear liquid diet and no solid food 24 hours prior to the procedure.  Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure and a tap water enema the morning of the exam.  This preparation ensures the bowel is free of all waste material, allowing the physician to visualize the bowel lining.

Sedation:  You will be given I.V. medication to help you relax and prevent discomfort during the procedure.

What to expect:   The procedure usually takes from 30 minutes to one hour.  The I.V. medication will cause drowsiness following the procedure.  You will be asked to have a family member or friend drive you home.  Cramping and bloating are common side effects of the procedure. 

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