Understanding Medical Problems

Getting A Colonoscopy: What To Expect

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a doctor to examine the inside of the large intestine (colon) for signs of abnormalities or disease. It is recommended for older individuals or for those who have a family history of colon cancer. While the thought of getting a colonoscopy may be intimidating, understanding the process can help ease any anxiety or concerns.

This article will explore the process of getting a colonoscopy. 


Before the colonoscopy, patients will need to prepare their bowels for the procedure. This involves following a strict diet and taking laxatives to ensure that the colon is empty and clear of any stool. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions on preparing for the procedure, which may entail fasting for a certain amount of time before the procedure.

The Procedure

During the procedure, the patient will be given sedatives and pain medication to help them relax and minimize any discomfort. The doctor will insert a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope into the anus and slowly advance it through the rectum and into the colon. The colonoscope is equipped with a camera that allows the doctor to examine the inside of the colon and look for any abnormalities or signs of disease.

If the doctor detects any abnormalities or polyps (growths on the colon lining), they may remove them during the procedure using specialized tools. Biopsies (small tissue samples) may also be taken for further analysis. The procedure typically doesn't take very long.

After the Procedure

After the colonoscopy, patients will be monitored until the sedatives wear off. Patients may experience some cramping or bloating and may need to pass gas to relieve any discomfort. Patients will not be able to drive for a while after the procedure, and will need to arrange for a ride home from the hospital or clinic.


The results of the colonoscopy may be available immediately after the procedure or may take a few days to process. If any abnormalities or polyps were found during the procedure, the doctor will discuss the next steps with the patient, which may include further testing or treatment.

Any follow-up appointment may be conducted in person or virtually, depending on the preferences of both the doctor and patient. The appointment should be made promptly after results are back, so that any additional care that's needed can be scheduled without delay.

Contact a clinic like Gastro Health to learn more about colonoscopy procedures.