PROCEDURES / COLONOSCOPY
What is a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a safe, non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that allows your DHAT gastroenterologist to evaluate the lower part of your gastrointestinal tract, including the end of your small intestine, colon, rectum, and anus.
Why would I need a Colonoscopy?
Your Digestive Health Associates of Texas, P. A. gastroenterologist performs a colonoscopy not only for colon cancer screening, but also to investigate a variety of lower gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders that include, but are not limited to:
- Chronic change in bowel habits including Constipation and/or Diarrhea
- Abdominal/Anorectal Pain
- Bleeding and Anemia
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Inflammation and Ulceration
After scheduling your appointment, you will be given instructions for a bowel preparation designed to clean out your colon. The bowel preparation occurs the day before your procedure and includes a clear liquid diet and a gentle, safe, palatable, affordable, low volume bowel prep.
How is a colonoscopy performed?
Your appointment will last approximately two hours, with procedure itself taking approximately one hour. Upon arrival to your assigned endoscopy center or hospital GI lab you will complete paperwork, change into a gown and a trained nurse will start an IV. A nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist will then administer a safe, fast-acting sedative through your IV to make you comfortably asleep during the procedure. While asleep your Digestive Health Associates of Texas, P. A. gastroenterologist will pass a small flexible high definition camera, thinner than the size of your finger, called a “colonoscope” through your colon. During the prodecure, polyps or other types of abnormal tissue are removed through the scope using a variety of techniques including biopsy forceps and cautery snares.
After your colonoscopy is complete and upon waking up, your Digestive Health Associates of Texas, P. A. gastroenterologist and staff will discuss the findings with you and your family. Because sedatives cause temporary changes in your reflexes and judgment, you will need someone to take you home after your procedure. Unless otherwise specified, you are able to resume a normal diet once you are awake and you will be able to return to normal daily function the following day.
What are the possible complications?
Following the procedure, it is normal to experience some cramping, bloating and gas for a few days. Aside from these anticipated side effects, colonoscopy is one of the safest gastrointestinal procedures, and complications are very uncommon (list below).
- Bleeding (most commonly stops on its own and is minor)
- Perforation (requires admission to hospital and possible surgical repair)
- Damage to abdominal organs
- Reaction to sedative medication
- Aspiration of gastric contents into lungs
You should seek immediate medical attention if your experience any of the following:
- Severe Pain
- Difficulty Breathing