What to Expect Before and Following a Colonoscopy

Your doctor can view the interior of your colon and rectum with a colonoscopy. It can help your doctor detect polyps, abnormal tissue and colorectal cancer. Before the exam, you’ll usually change your diet for several days to make it easier for your doctor to view your intestines. Typically, this includes eating only clear liquids (water, broth and tea without milk or cream) the day before.


Your doctor will explain what to expect before and after your colonoscopy. These will vary depending on your test type and where it is done. You may have to change your diet or stop taking some medications to prepare. These may include medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease. You also will have to take a laxative, which will cause diarrhea. This part of the prep can be hard. Your doctor will first insert a flexible tube with a camera into most of your colon or rectum. The doctor can see the inside of your colon, and they can remove any polyps (growths on your colon’s inner lining) and look for other abnormal tissue. Colonoscopy Denver will also be used to screen for colorectal cancer. The sample will be submitted to a lab for further examination if cancer is detected.


A colonoscopy is a medical exam that lets doctors see inside your colon. It’s usually done to check for signs of colorectal cancer or other problems. The procedure involves putting a tube into your rectum (the narrow part of your large intestine). Air, carbon dioxide or water is pumped into the tube to help the doctor see better. You may also feel discomfort, bloating or pass gas during the colonoscopy. Usually, these symptoms disappear after a day. Your doctor may need to remove a small polyp or tumor during the colonoscopy or take a tissue sample (biopsies) for testing. These tests are usually not painful; your doctor will stop bleeding. Your doctor will send the biopsy sample to a lab to be examined for cancer if you have one. Your doctor may not give you the test results for up to a week. An appointment for a follow-up will need to be made.


During your colonoscopy recovery, you must adhere to a few key rules. Avoiding meals that are difficult to digest and drinking a lot of water are two of them. The sedative you received during the colonoscopy may cause some side effects, including gas and bloating. However, these symptoms usually pass within a day or two. Your doctor will check your colon and remove any polyps they find. It is generally harmless, but in some cases, polyps can be early signs of colorectal cancer. A tiny camera is attached to the end of a thin tube called a colonoscope. It sends photos to a monitor, so the doctor can see what’s happening inside your body. Your doctor may also insert instruments through the colonoscope to take tissue samples (biopsies) or remove polyps or other abnormal tissue for further testing. Depending on the results of your colonoscopy, you may need additional dietary restrictions or special procedures during your recovery.


Follow-up procedures are needed to ensure a patient’s colon is healthy and polyps-free. These include routine screening, diagnosis and surveillance. Regular screening can help identify people at high risk for colon cancer. It also can reduce the need for surgery and other treatments to remove polyps. A colonoscopy is a safe procedure with complications in less than 1% of patients. During a colonoscopy, your doctor inserts a tube into your anus (the end of the rectum) to view the inside of the large intestine. The tube inflates with air to make it easier to see the lining of your colon. Your doctor may need to remove a biopsy of tissue or polyps during the test. It can cause some bleeding. Following a colonoscopy, some minor rectal bleeding is normal. However, if it is severe and persistent, call your doctor immediately.