Following information is for reference only. Your physician will provide you specific information on your procedure.
Colonoscopy and Polypectomy
What preparation is required?
The ability of the physician to see the colon wall is very important since polyps and cancers are located on the wall of the colon. For the best possible examination, the colon must be completely empty of waste material. Therefore, a colon prep is required.
For this reason we ask that you follow the diet and bowel prep instructions carefully. Failure to do this may result in a poor exam or having your exam canceled. In addition, we want to be sure that the prep you receive is the best product for you. Be sure to give the scheduler accurate information about your use of laxatives.
Generally, you will be asked to drink only clear liquids for one to two days prior to your exam. Your physician or healthcare provider will choose the bowel prep he or she prefers. If you
are unable to take the prep as directed, you must speak with the nurse who scheduled your exam or the physician who is on-call to receive further instructions.
You must not alter the instructions without first speaking to a qualified practitioner. You can reach someone who can assist you by calling 515 288-6097.
If you are connected to the on-call doctor, you may be prescribed a different prep. You will need to be able to get to a pharmacy to purchase the new product. You should be aware of one in your area that has late night hours.
In most instances taking the prep while it is cold is best. If you experience nausea and bloating, slow your ingestion of the prep and try to consume the entire amount over a longer period of time. Once you start having bowel movements, the nausea and bloating will subside. After you complete the prep, you are to continue to drink clear fluids until you go to bed.
Use a soft toilet tissue while you are taking the prep and having frequent bowel movements. If you have some rectal soreness apply any cream or ointment for rectal pain available over the
counter. Products with zinc oxide, like Desitin, work well.
You will be asked to discontinue the use of aspirin products and iron tablets for several days before your exam.
Please be sure to tell your doctor or healthcare provider what medications you take and if you are allergic to medications, have heart or lung disease, or you are pregnant.
You will receive more information about your procedure at the time you are scheduled. Please be sure to read the information carefully and ask the nurse or scheduler if you have additional questions.
We share a common goal—your good health and it can only be achieved through mutual trust, respect, understanding, and good communication. We welcome your questions at any time during this process.
What should be expected when you arrive at the hospital or endoscopy center?
You will be told when to check into the hospital or endoscopy center for your exam. A staff member will bring you to the preparation area and verify your health information and medications.
You will be asked to change into a gown, and the nurse will provide additional instructions on what you can expect during your procedure. An IV will also be started.
Prior to starting your exam, your doctor will visit with you and answer any questions you may have. The doctor will then begin to give you medications that will sedate you. This medication will help you to relax during the exam.
While you are lying on your left side in a comfortable position, the colonoscope is inserted into your rectum and is gradually advanced through the colon. The doctor will inject air into your colon. The purpose of this air is to expand the colon so that the doctor can examine the lining thoroughly. The colonoscope is then slowly withdrawn while the large intestine is again carefully examined. Some of the air will also be removed, but some will remain.
How can I best prepare for this exam?
You can best prepare for this exam by:
- Talking to your physician or healthcare provider and make sure you have all your questions answered.
- Reading all the information you are given to prepare you for the exam.
- Following the colon preparation instructions. If your colon is not sufficiently cleaned out, your physician will not be able to see problem areas in your colon and your exam may need to
- Making sure you provide your physician or healthcare provider with a complete detailed health history. Make sure he or she knows what surgeries you have had.
- Providing your physician or healthcare provider with a complete list of your medications. This list needs to include medications you take without a prescription and any vitamins and supplements you take.
- Providing us with a complete list of your allergies to medications and what your allergic symptoms were. If you are allergic to latex, please tell your physician or healthcare provider.
- Checking with your other providers if you are a diabetic or taking blood thinning agents. Your physician or healthcare provider who prescribed your diabetic or blood thinning agents may have specific instructions for you to follow before your exam. Please be sure to check with them.
- Bringing someone with you to take you home if you are being sedated for your exam. You cannot receive sedation, if you do not have someone to take you home following the exam and stay with
you for most of the day.
The feeling of nervousness about this exam is normal and the staff will do everything possible to help you feel more comfortable. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an extremely worthwhile and safe procedure which is well tolerated and a valuable tool for diagnosis and treatment of colon disorders.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to discuss them with our physicians and staff. Both of you share a common goal—your good health.