[i] colonoscopy - outpatient information

COLONOSCOPY – Outpatient Information

What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is an examination which allows the doctor to visualise the inside of your
large bowel using a flexible tube/camera called a colonoscope.

When is a colonoscopy necessary?
It is used to investigate problems with the large bowel. Bleeding, diarrhoea,
constipation, altered bowel habit, anaemia or a family history of large bowel cancer
are all likely reasons for a colonoscopy to be performed.
What preparation is necessary?
Avoid all food with nuts or seeds, e.g. Tomato, kiwifruit, grainy breads etc for the 3
days immediately prior to your examination.
The day before your examination, after lunch, and on the day of your
colonoscopy – do not eat solid food.
You may drink clear fluids only. No solid foods, milk or milk products are
‘Clear fluids’ include clear soup, jelly, clear apple juice, soft drinks, water,
tea and coffee without milk.
It is very important that the bowel is thoroughly emptied so that the lining can be
clearly seen. You will be asked to drink a bowel cleansing solution before your
examination and take two Bisacodyl tablets as instructed. This will be sent to you
with instructions.
If you usually take tablets for your heart or blood pressure please take these on
the morning of the test.

Stop taking iron tablets one week before your colonoscopy as these can coat the
lining of the bowel and make viewing difficult. It is also important that you notify the staff on receiving this letter about any
medication you are taking, especially Warfarin, Dabigatran, Clopidogrel, Insulin,
Diabetes tablets or water tablets (diuretics).
Also let staff know if you have any
allergies, if you have artificial heart valves or joint replacements.

How long does it take?
Your actual procedure takes approximately 20 to 40 minutes. However please note
that your appointment time is when your initial assessment will be done with one of
the nurses. Following this please allow for up to four hours for the completion of
your appointment.

Who will be there during the procedure?
The doctor and two nurses will be in the room, as well as any other necessary medical
professionals. Please note that family members or support people can come with you to the Department and wait in the waiting room for you, but they are not allowed in the procedure room or recovery area. (Continued on page 2). Issued By: Gastroenterology Department
Date Issued: September 2011
Classification no: 010-03-10-002 Review
September 2014
Will I be awake during the procedure?
Yes, but you will be given a sedative immediately prior to the examination. This sedative will make you feel relaxed and sleepy. This also has an amnesic effect and you may not remember the procedure.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
Following an explanation of the procedure you will be asked to sign a consent form with the doctor agreeing to have a colonoscopy. Once you are in the procedure room you will be given the sedation via an injection in your arm. The doctor will firstly check your rectum with a gloved finger, and then the colonoscope will be passed into your rectum and gently manoeuvred along the large bowel. The doctor may take photographs and samples (biopsies) from the lining of the bowel or remove small wart-like lumps (polyps) if needed.
What will I feel?
You may feel some pressure and discomfort as it is necessary to put air in the bowel
so that it can be fully examined. You can pass this air and this will relieve the discomfort. At times one of the nurses in the procedure may have to gently push on your abdomen to help guide the colonoscope around your bowel or assist you to change position onto your back or side. Are there any risks ?
Colonoscopy is a safe procedure in which complications are rare. Mild abdominal discomfort after the procedure is common but should ease within two Perforation occurs roughly in 1 in a thousand colonoscopies and usually is noticed within one to two days after the procedure. Treatment ranges from antibiotics in hospital through to surgery depending on how serious a perforation occurs. Bleeding is more common and can occur after polyp removal or biopsy. It often occurs several days after the procedure and if persists may require a repeat colonoscopy or very rarely an operation. All intravenous sedation carries a potential risk. Please discuss Information
After the colonoscopy ?
You will be encouraged to have a sleep after the procedure and to pass the rest of the wind. Once you are awake, and your observations are stable, you will be given a drink and biscuits. You may leave approximately 1 - 2 hours after the procedure. As you are given sedation for this procedure, YOU MUST NOT DRIVE, use
machinery or undertake any other hazardous activities for at least 12 hours.
THE PROCEDURE. They must pick you up from inside the Gastroenterology
Department. You must not leave the hospital without an accompanying adult.

You must have someone stay with you for the rest of the day. Issued By: Gastroenterology Department
Date Issued: September 2011
Classification no: 010-03-10-002 Review
September 2014

Source: http://www.bowelscreeningwaitemata.co.nz/BowelScreening/Documents/Colonoscopy%20Information%20Sheet.pdf


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