THE COLONOSCOPY PROCEDURE
You will be given a sedative by a CRNA to help you relax and better tolerate any discomfort that may occur from the procedure. The staff will ask you to lie on your side or back and the physician will pass the colonoscope gradually along your large intestine. While doing so, the physician will examine the lining and repeat the examination again as the colonoscope is withdrawn from the large intestine slowly. This procedure rarely causes much pain; however, minor pressure, bloating and cramping can be felt during the procedure. Often, many patients sleep through the procedure, which itself takes less than 45 minutes.
Should the doctor need to evaluate further while performing the colonoscopy, additional instruments can be passed through the colonoscope to facilitate the assessment. For example, a biopsy or polyp removal can be performed during the colonoscopy. Should any bleeding sites be identified during the procedure, the physician can also alleviate this by cauterization, the use of small clips or the injection of medication. Rarely, the doctor cannot pass the colonoscope through the entire colon and to the small intestine, which may result in additional testing, if the doctor deems necessary.