What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure performed by a physician (usually a gastroenterologist) to view inside your colon (large intestine) and rectum. Using a long, flexible, video camera device called a colonoscope or “scope,” the physician can visually study the lining of the colon. Because the colonoscope is flexible, it bends within the curves of your colon to allow the gastroenterologist to view specific portions of the colon’s lining. The colonoscope can also inflate air into your colon to expand the area and provide better views. The physician will likely take photos or videos during the procedure to show you results, document findings in your medical records or provide to other physicians and specialists for further evaluation.
Why is this procedure performed?
A colonoscopy can help detect indications of digestive diseases and cancer, such as inflamed tissue, ulcers, infections, and abnormal growths or polyps. Because the colonoscope allows the physician to view the inside of the colon, it is the procedure of choice to screen patients for colon cancer. A colonoscopy is recommended for most people beginning at age 50. It may be recommended for you at a younger age if you have a family history of colon or colorectal cancer.
What to Expect During Your Colonoscopy
Preparing For Your Colonoscopy Prior to your colonoscopy you will be provided several pieces of patient information, including written instructions and a prescription for the preparation you must take to get ready for your examination. Preparation for a colonoscopy will include emptying all solids from the gastrointestinal tract. You will be giving instructions for following a clear liquid diet in the day(s) before your procedure and you will be asked to drink a specific liquid or take a laxative or possibly enemas the day before your procedure. The preparation is very important to get the best results from the colonoscopy. If the colon is not properly prepared, your physician may not be able to fully examine all portions of the colon and polyps or cancers may be hidden under the stool that was left behind. There are many different types of preparation available, and your physician will discuss the different options with you and recommend the one which best suits your needs. You should discuss with your physician which of your regular medications should be taken on the evening before, and the morning of, your colonoscopy. It is generally advised that all blood pressure or heart medications should be taken with a small amount of water before your examination. Be sure to notify your gastroenterologist if you are taking blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix, Aspirin, Pletal) or other anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis (Aleve, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Celebrex or similar drugs) which may need to be discontinued prior to your examination.
What to Expect During the Colonoscopy Procedure Upon completion of your registration you will be escorted to a private dressing room to change into a hospital gown. Before and during the colonoscopy, you will have an IV catheter placed in a vein in your arm or hand. This will supply a light sedative to keep you comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. At the Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC the anesthesia is provided by a staff Anesthesiologist who will monitor you during your procedure. You generally will not feel any discomfort or remember the events of your procedure due to the effects of the sedative. You will lie on your left side to begin the procedure and may possibly be asked to move positions during the examination. The physician will insert the colonoscope in through your rectum to access your colon. During the procedure, the physician may take a small portion, or biopsy, of the tissue lining your colon for further testing. Larger polyps, if found, may also be removed during the colonoscopy. These tissue samples will be sent to a laboratory for further examination by a pathologist. A colonoscopy is typically completed in less than 30 minutes.
After the Colonoscopy Recovery will usually occur in a recovery room and will last approximately one hour. During this time you may experience mild cramping or bloating. You will be asked by the nursing staff to pass gas to help release the air that was used to inflate your colon. They may request that you change your position on the stretcher to help eliminate the air. Your physician will meet with you in the recovery room to discuss the findings from your procedure. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be allowed to drive, or operate any heavy machinery for 24 hours after your procedure so that the sedative can completely wear off. While the colonoscopy is a very safe procedure performed millions of times each year, it is an invasive procedure and there can be complications and some risks involved. The most serious of these include puncturing the colon or large intestine, or severe bleeding, both of which are rare, but can occur approximately once out of every 1,000 colonoscopies performed. A puncture or perforation of the colon may require surgery to repair. Bleeding is more likely to occur if a polyp was removed and if you are taking blood thinners like aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), Plavix or other arthritis medications. Your doctor will discuss with you when these medications may be safely resumed. Inform your physician if you have bloody stools after your procedure, especially if a polyp was removed. Some degree of bloating or cramping may occur until all of the air has been released from your colon. You should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns about after effects from your colonoscopy. Patients generally report little or no ill effects following their colonoscopy.
For Our Customers We Offer
The Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC offers our patients unparalleled safety, quality and outcomes. Our practice was the first Ambulatory Endoscopy Center in New Jersey to receive a dual three-year Accreditation from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). This dual certification for ACE identifies our practice as a regional and national leader in safety, efficacy and compliance with all recommended guidelines developed by the industry leaders. The standards for these certifications meet or exceed the standards established for hospital endoscopy units. Your health, safety, convenience and satisfaction are our only concern.
The Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC is a private, state-of-the-art outpatient Ambulatory Endoscopy Center located on the 4th floor of Palisades Medical Center, which is located at 7600 River Road in North Bergen, NJ 07047. The hospital is situated on the west bank of the Hudson River four miles south of the George Washington Bridge and two miles north of the Lincoln Tunnel.
Patients in Bergen and Hudson counties as well as those from surrounding areas come to the Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, LLC because of our reputation, location and dedication to customer service.