Colonoscopy— The Test that can Save your Life
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an examination of the lining of the colon with a lighted, flexible tube about the thickness of your finger. The doctor will insert a tube that travels through your colon, checking for abnormalities. Often during a colonoscopy, the doctor may perform other minor procedures such as a polyp removal. In addition, if necessary, a small piece of tissue (a biopsy) can be taken for examination in the lab. Please note that biopsies are taken for many reasons and do not necessarily involve cancer.
Before the colonoscopy begins you will be given medication intravenously to make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Most patients will have no pain during the procedure and will probably not remember the colonoscopy itself. If there is pain, additional medicine can be added to the IV.
After your colonoscopy, you will need to rest for an hour or two in the recovery area until the sedatives have worn off. You will need someone to drive you home, but you’ll be able to return to your regular activities the next day. Because the lining of the colon must be completely clean to provide the best view, bowel preparation the day before the colonoscopy is important.
Depending on what is found during your colonoscopy, your doctor will recommend the right time for a follow-up colonoscopy. If cancer is discovered, you’ll be referred to a surgeon or medical oncologist for treatment.
Answers to frequently asked questions »
Screening Assistance Programs
LRGHealthcare is currently participating in the New Hampshire Colorectal Screening Program. Through this program, for a limited time, we can offer patients who qualify based on financial guidelines FREE screening colonoscopies.
For more information on this program call 653-3702 or click for an application »
If you are over the age of 50, and have not had a colonoscopy in the past ten years, call your primary care provider today.