Are there any complications
from colonoscopy and Why is colonoscopy SOME ANSWERS TO
polypectomy? necessary? QUESTIONS ABOUT
Colonoscopy and polypectomy are safe and
associated with very low risk when performed by
Colonoscopy is a valuable tool for the diagnosis
physicians who have been specially trained and
and treatment of many diseases of the large
are experienced in such procedures. Your Doctor has decided that a
bowel. Abnormalities suspected by X-ray can be
confirmed and studied in detail. The cause of colonoscopy is necessary for further
One possible complication is perforation in
which a tear through the wall of the bowel may
symptoms such as rectal bleeding or change of evaluation and treatment of your
bowel habits may be found by colonoscopy. It is condition. This brochure has been
allow leakage of intestinal fluids. This
also useful for diagnosis and follow-up of prepared to help you understand the
complication usually requires surgery but in
patients with inflammatory bowel disease. procedure.
some cases may be managed with antibiotics
and intravenous fluids.
Colonoscopy’s greatest impact is probably in its
contribution to the control of colon cancer by
Bleeding may occur from the site of a biopsy or
polyp removal. Before colonoscopy became
polyp removal. It is usually minor and will stop
available, major abdominal surgery was the only
on its own. It can be controlled by cauterization
way to remove colonic polyps to see if they were
(application of electrical current) through the
cancerous. Most polyps can now be removed
colonoscope. In very rare cases, transfusions or Please report to the registration desk in the
easily and safely without surgery.
surgery may be required. Endoscopy Unit, located on the Ground
Periodic colonoscopy is a valuable test for Floor of St. Joseph’s Hospital
Localized irritation of the vein may occur at the
follow-up of patients with previous polyps or
site of medication injection. A tender lump may
develop and remain for several weeks to several
colon cancer, and as a screening tool for people on: ____at: ___
at risk of colon cancer.
months but will eventually go away.
Colonoscopy is a safe and extremely worthwhile DOCTOR_________________________
Other potential risks include drug reactions and
procedure which is very well-tolerated. The
complications from unrelated diseases such as
decision to perform this procedure was based
heart attack or stroke. Death is extremely rare Sedation will likely be used so please
upon assessment of your particular problem. If
but remains a remote possibility. arrange for a friend or family member to
you have any questions about your need for
colonoscopy, do not hesitate to speak to your take you home. If you do not have
If you experience problems please contact the someone to accompany you, your test
office of your physician through the hospital
may need to be rescheduled.
switchboard at 646-6000.
If your driver will not be remaining at the
hospital to wait for you, you can leave a
telephone number with the nurse and your
ride will be called when you are ready to be
* Please leave all jewelry at home.* • Discontinue the use of aspirin products, ticlid much clear fluids as you can up to the time of
(ticlopidine), plavix (clopidogrel) and iron pills the procedure.
**This is a fragrance-free for 7 days prior to the procedure.
environment.** • Discontinue all medication for arthritis for The bowel cleansing effect is improved by the
amount of clear fluids that you drink.
What is colonoscopy? 24 hours prior to the procedure.
Cramps and diarrhea are expected so stay close
• If you are taking anticoagulants (blood
thinning medication eg.Coumadin) contact to a toilet. Drink large quantities of clear fluid to
A colonoscopy is the insertion of a long flexible avoid dehydration.
your doctor who is doing your procedure at
tube, about the thickness of a finger. It is If you have problems tolerating the bowel prep,
least one week before your appointment to
inserted into the rectum and into the large bowel notify the doctor’s office for further instructions.
discuss the dosages and arrangements to
(colon) and allows the doctor to carefully
come in early for a blood test the day of the
examine the lining of the colon. Abnormalities
procedure If you have a history of kidney
suspected by x-ray can be confirmed and
studied in detail. Abnormalities which are too • If you are taking Insulin or other medication disease or congestive heart failure
small to be seen on x-ray may be identified. for diabetes, discuss with your family doctor
the dosages to be taken the day of your DO NOT take the phosphasoda. Contact
procedure. your Doctor for further instructions.
If the doctor feels that it is necessary, he can
pass an instrument through the colonoscope • All medications other than those mentioned
and take a small piece of tissue (a biopsy) for above can be taken as usual.
examination in the laboratory. Biopsies are • Prior to the day of your appointment, notify What should you expect
taken for many reasons and do not necessarily the doctor who will be doing your procedure if
you have a Pacemaker , an Implanted
during the procedure?
mean that cancer is suspected.
Cardiac Defibrillator, a Heart murmur or an
Artificial Heart Valve. Also notify him if you Your doctor will give you medication through a
What is polypectomy? have had recent joint replacement and been vein to make you relaxed and sleepy. While you
advised to take antibiotics prior to are lying in a comfortable position, the
procedures. colonoscope will be inserted into the rectum and
During the colonoscopy, a polyp may be found.
gradually advanced through the colon. The
Polyps are abnormal growths of tissue which
lining of the colon will be examined . The
vary in size from a tiny dot to several inches. If • For the best examination, the colon must
colonoscope will then slowly be withdrawn while
your doctor feels that removal of the polyp is be completely free of waste material:
the colon is again carefully examined. There
necessary, he will pass a wire loop (snare) • Please purchase one bottle of Fleet’s
may be some mild discomfort during
through the scope and remove the polyp from Phosphasoda (44 ml) and one bottle of
colonoscopy, however, the procedure is usually
the bowel wall by means of an electric current. Citromag (300 ml) from your pharmacy or
well-tolerated and rarely causes pain. Many
You should feel no pain during removal of the from St. Joseph’s Hospital Prescription Shop.
patients even fall asleep during the examination.
polyp. Polyps are usually removed because they • At 3:00 pm the day before the procedure,
can cause rectal bleeding or may contain drink the Phosphasoda (44 ml) over ice or
cancer. Although the majority of polyps are dilute one tablespoon at a time with 8 ounces What happens after the
benign (noncancerous), a small percentage may of gingerale, lemonlime soft drink or apple
contain an area of cancer in them or may juice. colonoscopy?
develop into cancer. Removal of colonic polyps, • DRINK AS MUCH CLEAR FLUID AS YOU You will be kept in the endoscopy unit until most
therefore, is an important means of prevention CAN including clear fluids only for supper ie: of the effects of the medication have worn off.
and cure of colon cancer. juices, black tea/coffee, consomme, jello, You may feel bloated as a result of the
Popsicles, koolaid, soft drinks and water. introduction of air into the colon during the
What preparation is Gatorade is recommended. NO MILK or
You will be able to resume your usual diet after
ORANGE JUICE or RED coloured liquids.
required? • At 6:00 am on the day of the procedure, drink
the colonoscopy unless instructed otherwise. If
a polyp has been removed, your doctor may
the Citromag (300 ml) . Continue to drink as
wish your diet to be limited for a while before
returning to your regular diet.