Unveiling the Truth – What to Expect During a Colonoscopy Procedure

A colonoscopy is a painless way for your gastroenterologist to look inside your large intestine. It can find and remove polyps, which are small growths that can become cancerous.

Colonoscopy Procedure

You must follow special bowel prep instructions the day before your procedure and drink only clear liquids (like water, tea, and coffee without milk or cream). You’ll also need to stop taking some medications that thin your blood, such as aspirin, anticoagulants, warfarin (Coumadin), and heart medicines.

What to Expect

A colonoscopy gives a healthcare provider a better view of the large intestine so they can figure out what is causing symptoms or confirm their suspicions. They might also take a tissue sample (biopsy) to test for cancer or other conditions.

The physician will introduce a colonoscope (a small, flexible tube with a light and camera)into the anus. They will slowly move the tube through the large intestine and may remove polyps or other growths during this procedure.

The gastroenterologist at Gastro Of The Rockies will then explain any findings. If the doctor removes a polyp, the patient will receive the biopsy results in approximately a week.

The person should arrange for someone to drive them home after the procedure, as sedatives and anesthesia will wear off. The appointment usually takes about two to three hours. The person will be monitored for a few hours in the recovery room before discharge. If required, they will be given instructions on when to schedule their next colonoscopy.


The day before the procedure, the person must follow a strict diet, avoiding solid foods and drinking only clear liquids. It includes water, sports drinks, tea, and coffee without milk or cream. The doctor may also recommend taking laxatives in pill or liquid form. Some people may need to use an enema kit the night before or on the morning of the exam.

The patient must wear a hospital gown and sign a consent document when visiting the medical facility. The doctor will then insert an IV into the patient’s arm to deliver sedatives and pain medications.

Depending on their medical history and physician’s recommendation, the person will receive either light sedation or anesthesia for the colonoscopy. If they receive light sedation, they will be awake during the procedure but may feel discomfort or pressure from the colonoscope. For those who are under anesthesia, they will be asleep during the procedure.


Following the bowel prep instructions carefully, it is necessary to empty the large intestine before the procedure. It minimizes the chances that the doctor will miss an abnormality during the procedure.

At the hospital or outpatient surgery center, you will change into a gown and receive sedation from an IV placed in your arm. You may be asked to lie down.

Through your anus, a long, flexible tube known as a colonoscope is placed into your colon and rectum. The doctor can view the entire colon lining thanks to the camera on the tip of the colonoscope. In addition, instruments can be passed through the end of the scope to perform biopsies or remove polyps.

You may experience cramping and bloating while the colonoscope is in your colon. It is normal. After the doctor is finished, they will remove the scope. It will take some time for the sedatives and anesthetic to wear off, so make plans for someone to drive you home.


The doctor may prescribe pain medicine and stool softeners. Those with the test should take these as directed and talk to their doctors if they have concerns or symptoms, such as bleeding after the procedure. A bit of blood is expected to be seen with the first bowel movement following a colonoscopy, and this should not be cause for alarm unless it occurs regularly or causes abdominal pain.

The person will usually wear a hospital gown during the exam and will receive medication for sedation through an IV line in a vein. The sedative usually makes the person sleepy during the test. People must bring only what they need to the appointment and leave valuables home.

Individuals should also make sure they have arranged for someone to drive them home from the hospital afterward because they will be too groggy from the sedation to operate a vehicle safely. It is also wise to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) for 24 hours because these can promote bleeding.