Now Playing: Colonoscopy -- Detailed Description
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You will feel sleepy and relaxed from the medication given to you through your IV. You will be asked to lie on your left side and bring your knees toward your chest.
During this procedure your doctor will use an endoscope.
Once you are comfortable in the proper position, your doctor will begin by performing a gentle finger examination of your rectum wearing a clean, lubricated glove. Then, the flexible endoscope will be lubricated and placed inside. You will feel a little pressure when this happens.
The endoscope is a long, soft, bendable tube. This instrument acts as a camera and allows your doctor to view the inside of your digestive system on a video screen. It can also take pictures and videotape the procedure.
The endoscope is carefully moved up through your rectum and colon. To see this area better your colon may be gently filled with a small quantity of air or water through the endoscope. This might cause you to feel full or bloated. This discomfort is usually very brief and goes away when the air is withdrawn.
To help guide the endoscope, healthcare providers might gently press on your abdomen or have you change position to your back or your right side for a short time during the procedure. Depending on what your doctor finds, other procedures may be performed through the endoscope. These might include taking a biopsy or removing a polyp. These procedures are painless.
There are many ways that a polyp can be removed. One option is to use a wire snare-like device to grasp the polyp and then remove it with electrical current. After the polyp is removed it is passed through the endoscope and sent to the laboratory for examination.
After any treatments are finished the doctor will slowly pull out the endoscope tube through your rectum. The colonoscopy will usually take 15 to 60 minutes depending on what is found and if any procedures are performed.
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