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What to Expect During a Colonoscopy

Last updated 3 years ago

A colonoscopy is a routine procedure that you can schedule at your community hospital. This test is performed as a routine screening for colorectal cancer. The doctor at your hospital may also recommend that you have a colonoscopy if he or she suspects you could have a digestive complication, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Before going to the hospital for your colonoscopy, you’ll need to take a day or two for preparation, which your doctor can explain to you.

Arriving at the Hospital

Have a family member or friend drive you to the hospital and bring you back home afterward. When you arrive at the hospital for the colonoscopy, you can expect to change into a hospital gown. You’ll also receive a sedative. You’ll lie on the exam table on your left side. The doctor will ask you to draw your knees up to your abdomen.

Undergoing the Procedure

The doctor will gently insert a gloved finger into your anus, followed by the thin colonoscope. The colonoscope will be gently guided through the colon as the doctor views images from the device on a computer screen. You should not feel significant pain during the procedure, although you may feel discomfort and some cramping. It’s normal to feel as though you need to have a bowel movement and it’s also normal to pass air during the procedure. The doctor may take small samples of tissues during the colonoscopy, which you will not feel. Typically, the procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

Caring for Yourself Afterward

You can expect to be monitored at the hospital for a couple of hours before being discharged. It’s best to rest for the remainder of the day. Drink plenty of water and follow your doctor’s dietary advice.

Memorial Hospital of Tampa provides a full spectrum of healthcare services to South Tampa residents of all ages, including procedures such as colonoscopies. The caring professionals at our community hospital are dedicated to providing efficient, high-quality healthcare. If you have any general questions about your upcoming colonoscopy, call the Consult-A-Nurse referral line for our hospital at (813) 873-6400.



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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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