If you visit your community hospital because of digestive problems, such as rectal bleeding, your physician may recommend a colonoscopy. This common diagnostic procedure is also recommended as a routine screening test for adults of a certain age. The physician at your community hospital will provide you with extensive instructions to prepare for the exam. It’s essential to follow these instructions carefully; otherwise, the results of the colonoscopy may not be as accurate.
Following your preparation at home to cleanse the colon, you’ll arrive at the community hospital. You'll be asked to change into a hospital gown. The physician will administer a sedative, which may be taken orally or it may be administered intravenously. The sedative will prevent you from feeling discomfort during the exam. You may also have fluids delivered intravenously. A monitor may be used to check your vital signs during the procedure.
You’ll lie on your back or on your left side as the doctor inserts the colonoscope into your rectum and through the colon. The colonoscope is equipped with a light and a tiny camera to allow the physician to evaluate the lining of the colon. The physician may also pump air into the colon to inflate it, enabling a better view. If the doctor detects abnormalities, he or she may insert instruments through the tube of the colonoscope to remove tissue samples. Additionally, polyps, or growths, may be removed in this manner.
You may be asked to remain at the community hospital for a little while following the exam. This is to allow the effects of the sedative to diminish. You’ll need to have someone else drive you home and you should plan to rest for the remainder of the day.
The caring physicians at the Endoscopy Center of Memorial Hospital of Tampa strive to make your appointment as pleasant as possible. Our community hospital provides sedatives prior to endoscopy procedures to help our South Tampa patients feel more comfortable. If you have questions about your upcoming colonoscopy, call our community hospital’s Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (813) 873-6400.