What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an examination performed to evaluate abnormalities or changes in the colon and rectum. A colonoscopy is performed utilizing a long, flexible tube known as a colonoscope. The length of this procedure will vary based on the number of polyps that need to be removed, but generally, a colonoscopy is completed within 20 minutes to an hour.

This exam may be necessary if you experience:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Persistent constipation
  • Other intestinal problems
  • Are over 50 years old and should be checked for colon cancer

You’ll begin the exam lying on your left side. Dr. Hathaway will insert the colonoscope into your rectum. There is a tiny camera on the tip of the scope. The camera transmits images to a computer monitor, enabling Dr. Hathaway to analyze the inside of your colon. If necessary, he will insert instruments to obtain biopsies or remove polyps and other irregular tissue.

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

Prior to the exam, your colon must be completely empty. The day before the exam, you will need to follow a special diet consisting of clear liquids. Dr. Hathaway prescribe a laxative that you will take the day before the procedure is scheduled.

What happens after the exam?

Because it typically takes a day for the effects of the sedative to wear off, please make arrangements to have someone drive you home. Following the procedure, you may experience bloating, cramping, mild abdominal pain or pass a small amount of blood during your first post-exam bowel movement. This is not a cause for concern, however, if your symptoms worsen or your stool continues to be bloody, please call our office.