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A flexible tube with a camera is placed in the large intestine (colon) by a trained physician. Scope diameter is approximately the size of a dime. Sedation is given to relax the patient and decrease any fears or anxiety, as well as control any discomfort. Patients are monitored closely during the procedure including heart rhythms, heart rate, blood pressure and pulse oximetry or oxygen level. The physician navigates the colon from the rectum to the cecum using small amounts of air to open the area and be able to better visualize the walls and folds. This procedure will allow the physician to visualize polyps, diverticulum (pockets), different types of colitis and masses. This procedure can take 30 - 45 minutes to perform.

Usually the patient must be without food at least six hours prior to the test. Most often the physician will ask the patient not to eat or drink after midnight the night prior. There are a few types of colon preps, but the colon must be cleansed prior to this procedure. The individual doctor will determine which prep is required. A clear liquid diet (non-milk liquid products) may be ordered. Red liquids may appear as blood during the colonoscopy, so please avoid them. A hospital stay is usually not more than two hours from the time of arrival to the Endoscopy Center waiting room until the completion of the colonoscopy procedure.

Suggestions for clear liquid are:

  • Breakfast: Hot tea with lemon juice and 1 tsp sugar; Apple juice (8 oz); Gelatin 1 cup (no red gelatin)
  • Lunch: Hot tea with lemon (no pulp) and sugar; Apple juice (8 oz); Consommé (8 oz.)
  • Snack Fruit juice (apple, non-pulp orange); Gelatin (no red gelatin)
  • Dinner: Hot tea with lemon and sugar; Apple juice (8 oz); Consommé (8 oz); Fruit Ice (1 cup)