The Trusted Center for Your Colonoscopy in Mt. Pleasant, SC
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure commonly used to examine the lining of the colon and rectum. Colonoscopies can be used to evaluate patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, rectal and intestinal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, or to evaluate changes in the lining of the colon known as inflammatory disorders. Some surgeries require a colonoscopy either before or after the procedure.
A colonoscopy is also performed on patients who do not have gastrointestinal symptoms as a routine screening to check for colorectal polyps or cancer. Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer, and The American Cancer Society recommends starting regular colon cancer screenings at age 45.
Whether you need routine colon cancer screening or you’ve been experiencing concerning symptoms, you can rely on East Cooper General Surgery for your colonoscopy in Mt. Pleasant, SC. With our skilled team and state-of-the-art facility, we’ll make the procedure straightforward and pain-free for you.
How the Procedure Works
A colonoscopy is a well-tolerated procedure performed by an experienced physician. You will be sedated during the procedure to make it more comfortable. During your procedure, you will be asked to lie on your left side or on your back and your physician will guide a tiny camera attached to a flexible tube gently through your anus and into your colon. Once the doctor reaches the point where your colon meets your small intestine, they will slowly withdraw the camera while reviewing the live video of the lining of your bowel for abnormalities such as polyps. Typically, the procedure takes around 30 to 60 minutes.
Some patients experience nerves or embarrassment leading up to their colonoscopy. Thus, patients are usually sedated for the procedure, most often with conscious sedation or “twilight sleep.” This sedation will make the process painless, and you may not even remember it. For this reason, you will need to arrange to have someone transport you home afterwards.
What If The Colonoscopy Shows An Abnormality?
If the physician sees something abnormal or suspicious during the exam, small amounts of tissue can be removed for analysis, also known as a biopsy. The biopsies can be obtained by placing a special instrument through the colonoscope. Abnormal growths, or polyps, can be identified and entirely removed. For many individuals, a colonoscopy allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment of colorectal problems, and can prevent the need for a major operation.
Preparing for Your Procedure
In order to complete a successful colonoscopy, the rectum and colon must be clean and emptied of stool so the physician can have a clear view of the colon. This is commonly called a “bowel prep”, and consists of consumption of a special cleansing solution, laxatives, or enemas prior to the examination. You will be given specific instructions to follow regarding the cleansing routine necessary for colonoscopy. Please follow all of the steps listed in the instructions to effectively prepare for the colonoscopy. If you do not complete the preparation, it may be unsafe to perform the colonoscopy and the procedure may need to be repeated or rescheduled. If you are unable to take the preparation or have any questions or concerns regarding the steps, please contact the office.
Since this procedure uses sedation, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home. Sedatives will affect your judgment and reflexes for the rest of the day. You should not drive or operate machinery until the next day.
Pre-admission testing (PAT) at East Cooper Medical Center will also be in contact with you within a week of your procedure to give you further instructions and information.