About colonoscopy

The term “colonoscopy” refers to a procedure to look inside the colon.  The colon, or large bowel is the last portion of the digestive tract or GI tract. The instrument that is used to examine the colon is the colonoscope, which is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and a light on the end. During the procedure you will be given medication to relax, which can make you feel drowsy. Therefore, on the day of the procedure you are advised not to drive or engage in tasks that require prompt attention. We recommend for a family member or a friend to accompany you after the procedure. If you are using blood thinner medications such as coumadin or aspirin or if you are diabetic, please inform your physician prior to the colonoscopy procedure. If you are taking iron pills you should discontinue them at least 5-6 days before the procedure. If you have a pacemaker in your heart, valvular heart disease or a prosthetic heart valve inform your physician at least 24 hours before the procedure.

How should you prepare?

The large bowel should be completely cleansed and free of stool for an optimal examination. Bowel cleansing is performed by ingesting laxative medications. A day before the procedure, please consume a light breakfast and do not eat any solid food throughout the day. You should drink clear liquids that do not contain any bulk and are transparent such as tea, apple or cherry juice, lemonade, meat or chicken broth. You may also eat plain jelly. Preparation for colonoscopy will deplete your body of water. For this reason, it is important that you drink plenty of clear liquids prior to the procedure. This way you will be able to replenish your body with water and some nutrients.

The Procedure

During the procedure you will be given intravenous medication to relax and to keep you free of discomfort. The dose of these medications are adjusted by your gastroenterologist so that you are comfortable yet conscious. It is normal that you will feel some bloating in your abdomen during and after the procedure. During the procedure your physician may decide to use diagnostic or therapeutic modalities such as a biopsy. Encountered polyps are taken out by electrocautery and sent to a laboratory for pathological examination. If there is bleeding other techniques including electrocautery may be used to stop the bleeding.


Although colonoscopy is a safe procedure, complications can occur. There is a 1-2 % complication rate, especially if therapeutic techniques are utilized. Complications include inadvertent bleeding, infection and perforation of the bowel.

After the Procedure

You will be given medication to reverse the drowsiness caused by the previous medications. You will rest in the recovery room for about half an hour. During this time the person accompanying you may stay with you. Before you leave the hospital your physician will inform you about the results and give you a written examination report. You may eat or drink immediately after the procedure. It is important that you remember not to drive or engage in risky tasks and not to consume alcoholic beverages after the procedure.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Gastroenterology, a nurse or a physician will gladly answer your questions. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please inform the department at least a day before the appointment time.



The day before the procedure please have breakfast and a light lunch. After lunch do not eat any solid food. You may only drink clear liquids. Clear liquids are any liquid that you can see through when you put it in a transparent glass, such as tea, broth, lemonade, apple or cherry juice etc.

Between 14:00 – 17: 00 PM mix 250 ml of Diet X –M with 1-2 liters of water and slowly drink it for 2-3 hours. After a rest period of 2-3 hours mix   150 ml of Diet X-M with   1 liter of water and slowly drink it in 1-2 hours. Continue drinking clear liquids till midnight.

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