Procedures (Digestive System)
What is the test?
This procedure, which enables a medical
specialist called a gastroenterologist to examine the lining of your large intestine
for any abnormalities, is an important exam for colon cancer screening. A
narrow, flexible tube with a tiny video camera at its tip is gently inserted
into your rectum and passed up through your large intestine. The camera
displays video images of the intestine so that your gastroenterologist can get
a detailed look at the inside of your lower digestive tract. The doctor can
also remove existing polyps during the colonoscopy and obtain tissue samples
for biopsy, if necessary. At Cayuga Medical Center, we offer both adult and
How do I prepare?
There are a variety of bowel preparations. Your
doctor will discuss with you in advance the specific preparation for your
In general, however, the following
For three days leading up to your colonoscopy
reduce the amount of fiber in your diet by eliminating salads, bran, fruits and
vegetables with skins such as corn, peas, grapes, onions, and unpeeled apples, nuts,
seeds and seed-coated breads. These foods are dense and may not be adequately
flushed out of the digestive tract before the exam.
In addition, discontinue aspirin, iron, and
bulking agents like Metamucil, Citrucel, Psyllium,
and FiberCon. If you are taking Coumadin (Warfarin) or Plavix, ask your
doctor for special instructions.
The day before the colonoscopy:
Drink only clear liquids for breakfast,
lunch, and dinner. Solid foods, milk or milk products are not allowed. Clear
liquids include all of the following that are not colored red or purple: strained
fruit juices without pulp, water, clear broth or bouillon (vegetable, chicken, beef), coffee or tea (without milk or nondairy creamer),
Gatorade, carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks, Kool-Aide
(or other fruit-flavored drinks), plain Jello
(without added fruit or toppings), and ice Popsicles.
Your doctor will provide you with detailed
instructions about what to do on the day of your colonoscopy.
Please make arrangements ahead of time for
transportation. It is our policy that you must
have a family member or friend drive you home after the procedure. If you need
to use taxi or bus service for transportation, you must be accompanied by a family member or friend. We require this
because the sedation you will receive prior to the colonoscopy remains in your
system and can slow your reaction times. You will be mildly sedated for the
colonoscopy and should not drive for 12 hours following the procedure. Sedation
can also make people forgetful so plan the rest of your day accordingly.
What can I expect during the procedure?
Give yourself an extra 30 minutes to check
in at Outpatient Registration. Your friend or family member will be on hand to
review the test results and discharge instructions and drive you home after the
exam. Once you arrive in the Endoscopy Department a nurse will take your health
history and blood pressure. You will also have a chance to ask your doctor any
questions about the exam. After changing into a hospital gown you will be asked
to lie down, and you will be positioned on your left side. You may be given an
intravenous sedative to help you relax.
The doctor will insert a narrow flexible
tube into your rectum and carefully advance it through your colon, monitoring
the progress by means of the instrument's camera and a video screen. The exam
generally takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Your entire stay at the hospital should
last 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
How and when will I get my test
After your exam, you will be moved to the
recovery area of the Endoscopy Department until you are fully awake and meet
certain discharge criteria. Your physician will discuss the results with you,
and will send a report to your primary care provider. Your companion should
drive you home, as it is unsafe for you to operate a car or perform tasks that
require alertness and coordination for the remainder of the day. You may resume
your regular diet.
Where is the test performed?
Colonoscopies are performed at Cayuga
Medical Center at 101 Dates Drive, off NYS Route 96 in Ithaca, and at
Surgicare, which is located at Convenient Care at Ithaca, Arrowwood Drive, off
Warren Road in Ithaca.