Preparing for Your Colonoscopy or EGD

What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a visual exam of the lining of the large intestine, also called the large bowel or colon, with a colonoscope.  A colonoscope is a flexible tube that looks like a small black hose. At the tip of the colonoscope, there is a light and a tiny video camera that allows the doctor to view the inside of the colon on a TV monitor.

Reasons for Colonoscopy

  • To identify and remove pre-cancerous growths (polyps) before they become cancer
  • To diagnose colorectal cancers
  • To identify and stop the source of lower intestinal bleeding
  • To investigate causes for changes in bowel habits
  • To investigate causes of lower abdominal pain

 How is a Colonoscopy performed?

  • An intravenous line will be started in one of your arms.
  • You will be asked to lie on your left side on an exam table.
  • You will be given medication to relieve discomfort and to help you to relax during the procedure. Notify your doctor prior to the procedure if you are allergic to any medications.
  • The doctor will insert a long, flexible, lighted tube, called a colonoscope, into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon.
  • The doctor will see images of your colon through this scope, which will allow her to carefully examine the lining for any abnormalities.
  • A small amount of air will be used to inflate your colon to help the doctor see the images better.
  • If anything abnormal is seen in your colon, like a polyp or inflamed tissue, the doctor can remove all or part of it using small instruments passed through the scope.
  • Samples of this removed tissue will be sent to the lab for testing.
  • The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes.
  • You will remain in the recovery room after the procedure until you meet our discharge criteria.




What is an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)?

Your physician has recommended that you have an examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract (stomach and esophagus) performed with sedation and analgesia.  This means you will receive a sedative by vein to make you comfortable.  You must have someone drive you home (not a taxi) after the procedure.  You will not be able to drive a car or operate machinery for 18 hours after your procedure. The endoscopy takes approximately 20 minutes.  There will be a brief recovery period after your procedure, at which time you will be discharged to the care of a responsible adult.  Before you leave, the doctor will discuss the findings with you and your caregiver.  The facility nurse will give you written discharge instructions.

Many people do not recall much of the procedure or the discussion with the doctor afterwards because of the effect of the medication.  After the procedure, you will probably feel drowsy and may sleep for a short time.


What is an EGD?

EGD stands for esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy.  This procedure allows the doctor to look directly at the lining of your esophagus (food tube), stomach, and first part of your small intestines, which are called the duodenum. During an EGD, a flexible tube connected to a light source (called a flexible fiberoptic endoscope or gastroscope) is inserted into the mouth and advanced into your stomach.  As it is slowly withdrawn, the physician will look carefully at the lining of your stomach & esophagus. This test can help your doctor diagnose your problem.


Is it uncomfortable?

There is usually no pain with this test.  You will be given a sedative during the examination. A local anesthetic is used before the tube is inserted into your mouth.  This will numb your gag reflex.  You will be able to breathe comfortably throughout the test.


How long does the test take?

The examination itself takes 10-15 minutes. However, you may be in the procedure room approximately 30 minutes, including the time it takes to prepare you for the examination.


diagram2Do I have to do anything special after the test?

You may eat 1 hour after the test.  The numbing sensation in the back of your throat will usually wear off about 30 minutes after the procedure.  You may not drive or drink alcohol the day of your procedure.  You may begin taking your usual medications after arriving home.


When will I get the results?

It takes approximately 7-10 days to get your biopsy results.  After your test, the doctor will briefly discuss the findings of the examination with you and your family.