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What to expect before and during the procedure.
Colonoscopy is a visual examination of the lining of the rectum and the colon with a flexible fiber-optic endoscope.
The rectum and colon must be completely empty of stool in order to adequately perform the colonoscopy procedure. The following recommendations may be made by your physician:
Note: It is essential that you follow your physician’s instructions fully in regards to your preparation. Failure to follow instructions may result in rescheduling the procedure at a later date. We may request that you arrive one hour prior to your scheduled time in order to be adequately prepared for the procedure.Preparation at the Facility
During the Colonoscopy
In order to properly advance the colonoscope through the large intestine, you will be instructed to lie on your left side. The lining of the rectum and colon will be examined closely. If necessary, polyps may be removed and biopsies may be obtained through the endoscope. When the area has been viewed and any tissue samples taken, the endoscope will be removed. The procedure usually lasts 15 to 60 minutes. In rare instances, the entire colon may not be well visualized due to difficulties in advancing the scope or stool still present. The physician may need to repeat the procedure at a later date or discuss an alternative treatment plan.
Due to the effects of sedation from the medication you received, the physician may speak with your family or delay his talk with you. The physician’s discussion may involve a postprocedure phone call or a postprocedure follow-up visit. Please note that it may take several days to a week before your physician receives the results of any biopsies taken.
Find a San Diego Gastroenterologist
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego gastroenterologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm.
This information has been prepared by the Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion team for patients in their unit. Colonoscopy preparation and procedure may vary depending on location.